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The Digital Cicognara Library: transforming a 19th century resource for the digital age

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 April 2020

Holly Hatheway
Affiliation:
Head, Marquand Library of Art & Archaeology, Princeton University, McCormick Hall, Princeton, NJ08544, USA Email: hhatheway@princeton.edu
Roger Lawson
Affiliation:
Executive Librarian, National Gallery of Art Library, Washington, DC, USA Email: r-lawson@nga.gov
Charlotte Oertel
Affiliation:
Independent Researcher, Berlin, Germany Email: charlotte.oertel@gmx.net
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Abstract

The Digital Cicognara Library is an international initiative to recreate in digital form the private book collection of Count Leopoldo Cicognara (1767–1834). His collection of five thousand early imprints comprises foundational literature of art and archaeology, and includes a diverse range of publications in all areas of the visual arts. Our partnership's 21st- century effort advances Cicognara's Enlightenment-era ideals by making digital copies of his library available through an open access web application, where they will be fully searchable from a centralized database as well as relevant subject research interfaces. The aggregated images and text offer a potentially transformative opportunity for the discipline of art history and allied disciplines. By offering a new interface for Cicognara's collection, the endeavour allows open access availability to nearly all of the key historical volumes, the illustrations within, and the searchable metadata. The Digital Cicognara Library offers a corpus that will allow scholars to ask and answer new questions in disciplines beyond art history and archaeology, and will offer scholars of early printed books a new access point to study both the individual volumes and their relationship to each other in an accessible digital collection.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © ARLIS, 2020

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References

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29. The Cicognara Digital Library Founding Partners are: The Vatican Library; Heidelberg University; Princeton University Library; The Getty Research Institute; National Gallery of Art Library; Frick Art Reference Library; Harvard University Library.

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