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Italian Literature & Language: Books

Oxford libraries


Oxford's collections in Italian literature and language (including linguistics), from the medieval period to the present day, are rich and diverse. Materials are collected across the University as broadly as possible, including in related subject areas (e.g., art, history, theology, etc.).

A list of most (but not all) recent (2000 - present) publications by current and former members of Oxford's Italian sub-faculty is available in this guide.

Major collecting areas for Italian literature & language

  • Italian Language and Linguistics
    In particular: Grammar, phonetics, morphology, syntax, lexicography, philology, dialects; History of the Italian language; linguistic atlases
  • Medieval
    In particular: Boccaccio, Dante, Petrarch and their contemporaries
    Special Subjects
    - Tradition and innovation in medieval lyric poetry
    - Problems in Dante interpretation
  • 15th-16th century
    In particular: Alberti; Ariosto and lyric poetry; Bembo and Humanism; La commedia dell' arte; Giordano Bruno; Tasso
    Special Subjects
    - Classical and vernacular cultures in the Italian Renaissance
  • - Biography and autobiography in the Italian Renaissance
    - Ariosto's Orlando Furioso and Renaissance epic
  • 17th century
    In particular: Baroque poetics
  • 18th century
    In particular: Theatre, drama: comedy (e.g. Goldoni), tragedy (e.g. Alfieri); Giuseppe Parini; Giambattista Vico
  • 19th century
    In particular: Romanticism/post Romanticism; the novel; naturalism and verismo; Carducci; D'Annunzio; Foscolo; Leopardi; Manzoni
  • 20th century
    In particular: History of publishing; Futurism; the literary environment of the Fascist period; poetry; the post-World War II novel; the Italian crime novel (e.g. Gadda, Sciascia); women writers (e.g. Deledda, Rosselli); theatre (e.g. De Filippo; Pirandello); literature and film (e.g. Pasolini)
  • 21st century
    In particular: Poetry; the novel; migration literature (non-Italian authors working and writing in Italy); women writers
    Modern Special Subjects
    - The Italian novel in the 19th and 20th century
    - Carlo Emilio Gadda
    - Literature and politics in 20th century Italy
    - Literature in Trieste and Trieste in Literature
    - Modernism, anti-modernism and postmodernism in 20th century Italian lyric poetry
    - The canzoniere inin contemporary Italian fiction (Calvino, Eco, Malerba, Tabucchi)
    - Literature and cinema in Italian culture

Principle collections in the Taylor Institution Library

The Taylor Institution Library (located on St. Giles') is the principal repository for materials on Italian literature and language.

This building houses three collections: the Research Collection, the Teaching Collection and the Linguistics Colllection.

The Research Collection 
Italian language and literature are well covered from the medieval period to the present day. Monographs and periodicals are collected. Most titles (in both collections) may be borrowed. 

The Linguistics Collection is housed within the Research Collection (see guide to Linguistics).

Italian collections in the British Library

The British Library's Italian collections cover all periods and a wide variety of subjects. They include material published in the Italian-speaking Swiss canton of Ticino and publications in Romansch.

Key discovery tools

Oxford's union catalogue for the holdings of university, departmental and college libraries as well as e-resources available to Oxford researchers.

Using SOLO: a guide

JISC Library Hub Discover: the union catalogue of over 100 UK HE and other libraries.

Servizio Bibliothecario Nazionale (SBN): Union catalogue of Italian libraries.

WorldCat: a massive union catalogue of countless libraries worldwide but a US emphasis.

If material is not in Oxford

If a title is not available in SOLO you are welcome to Recommend a book. Alternatively, you can also consider an InterLibrary Loan.

Teaching Collections in the Taylor Institution Library

The Teaching Collection (aka Modern Languages Faculty Library)
Provides materials in support of undergraduate and taught postgraduate courses in Italian language and literature from the medieval period to the present day. Items for acquisition are selected in line with reading lists, syllabi, and recommended authors, and in some cases multiple copies of key texts are made available. The Library subscribes to various Italian magazines and newspapers, and there is a growing collection of Italian film (see guide to Film Studies).

History of the Taylor Institution and its collections

For a history of the Taylor Institution and its collections see J. Hughes, “History of the Library and its collections”, Handbuch der historischen Buchbestände in Deutschland, Österreich und Europa, ed. B. Fabian (Hildesheim: Olms, 2003).