Progetto Sonzogno

This is a rough introduction to my inventory and analysis project for the production of Italian publisher Sonzogno between 1800 and 1943.
The data now available on the site consists of two Outlook Databases. They list the holdings of the Biblioteca Storica Sonzogno as inventoried by two archivists for the Italian publisher RCS, who is the current owner of the Sonzogno catalogue.

The aim of the project is to gather data from Library websites, antique bookstore holdings, and from commercial and advertising material distributed by the publisher, in order to restitute as complete a catalogue as possible of the Sonzogno production. Chronological range is from its "prehistory", 1800-1860, to its years of peak production, 1861-1943 (in 1943 the archives were destroyed by WWII bombings over Milan). An updated catalogue exists for the years following WWII.

The restitution of the catalogue will then give way to a substantial analysis of the editorial politics of the house, combined with a study of printing technology and distribution strategies. Sonzogno contributed in multiple ways to the formation of "Italiani" and "Italiane", the new subjects of Unified Italy. It fostered a project of democraticization of communication and knowledge that was as commercially successful as it was culturally momentous, and it still needs to be fully appreciated and understood.


Kinds of collaborators
Individual/small group
Help description
As the person that is competent in the content, but not in the technology, of this project, I am looking for a graduate student in computer science, or Library Technologies, that will lead the retrieval efforts from different data platforms, and that will collaborate with me in determining the format of the database and the website structure. I am also looking for undergraduate and graduate students to help with data entry, retrieval, and cleaning.
Contact person
Help needed