The Guido Mazzoni Pamphlet Collection forms part of the personal library of Guido Mazzoni (1852-1943), professor of Dante studies and Italian literature at the University of Florence, Italian Senator, and bibliophile. The Pamphlet Collection spans the years 1572 through 1946, with the bulk of the material dating from the mid-eighteenth to the early twentieth centuries. There are approximately 49,648 pieces in this collection, many of which are rare and difficult to locate in the United States and even in Italy. Formats represented include: pamphlets, libretti, clippings, newspapers, scores, manuscript items, small cards, periodicals, small volumes, small and large broadsides, and one photo album. There is an abundance of illustrated publications, fine engravings, woodcuts, and items with maps enclosed. About 80 percent of the materials are in the Italian language, though other languages are represented, most notably Latin, French, English, German, Greek, Spanish, Catalan, Portuguese, and Eastern European languages. The other component of Mazzoni's library, chiefly bound volumes, was transferred to the Perkins Library general holdings.

The importance of the Mazzoni Pamphlet Collection primarily lies in its contribution to the fields of European and Italian studies. It is a broad but selective bibliography - put into material form, as it were - of nineteenth-century European culture and its transition to the twentieth century. Indeed, the collection may be studied as a cultural construct created over the lifetime of a collector who realized the importance of the historical context to any study of human society, and the critical necessity of preserving it for posterity. In the vastness of the Pamphlets Collection one can study practically any aspect of Italian culture. The largest and most developed subject areas are Dante studies, Italian poetry and other literature, and Italian history and politics, but smaller subject groupings also contain valuable resources for researchers.  Students and faculty interested in art history, drama, music, utopian thought, Fascist literature, and European popular culture can all find material in Mazzoni's collection.

Guido Mazzoni built up his library in several ways. He purchased many items from rare book dealers and other book sellers in Italy, particularly in Padua, Florence, and Bologna. His colleagues and former students sent him thousands of offprints, extracts, and small volumes of their work, most of them inscribed to Mazzoni. He accumulated materials from his work in the Italian Senate, most notably in areas of education and the humanities. He also acquired either by purchase or by inheritance entire libraries of academic colleagues, some of whom became his relatives by marriage. Some of these names include Giuseppe Chiarini, his father-in-law, and Raffaello Fornaciari.

The literary, political and scientific individuals represented by the Pamphlet Collection are too numerous to mention in this introduction, but more detailed information can be found under the section for each subject area. Suffice it to say that virtually every important poet and dramatist of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries is well-represented, men and women, and, perhaps more importantly, many minor authors whose works are now difficult to find. In addition, notable political and scientific individuals of the nineteenth century and early twentieth centuries are encountered in the collection.

Additional items - primarily monographs - from the library of Guido Mazzoni can be located by author or title through the Duke Libraries Online Catalog.

For information about reproduction and use see Copyright and Use.

About this Site

In November, 1994, the Special Collections Library completed a two-year project to provide greater access to the Guido Mazzoni Pamphlet Collection. Acquired in 1948, this collection comprises over 49,000 pamphlets, newspapers, clippings, small volumes, librettos, epithalamia, and broadsides. Imprints range from the late sixteenth century to 1943. It is one of the largest private Italian libraries of its kind in the United States. Many of its pieces are very rare and difficult to find in the United States and even in Italy.

To make this large collection more accessible to scholars, each item has been classified under one of thirty-one sub-collections, each with its own Library of Congress subject heading (subject headings). Collection-level bibliographic records for the Guido Mazzoni Pamphlet Collection and the thirty-one subject areas are also located in the Duke Libraries online catalog.

Exhibits have also played an important role in the efforts to enhance access to the Mazzoni Collection. An extensive exhibit of materials, "A Renaissance at Duke: The Mazzoni Pamphlet Collection," appeared in Perkins Library in 1994, with the goal of introducing this little-known resource to the Duke University community. In 1996, an expanded on-line version of this exhibit made this extraordinarily rich Italian collection come alive for visitors to this web site.

Copyright Information

The materials on this web site have been made available for use in research, teaching, and private study. You may reproduce (print, make photocopies, or download) materials from this web site without prior permission for these non-commercial purposes, on the condition that you provide proper attribution of the source in all copies (see below).

For other uses of materials from this web site, i.e., commercial products, publication, broadcast, mirroring, and anything else that doesn't fall under either "fair use" or the terms of the Creative Commons license found on most pages, we require that you contact us in advance for permission to reproduce.