The academies of Renaissance Italy are being compared with internet social networks, such as Facebook. A major collaborative research project on The Italian Academies 1525-1700:The First Intellectual Networks of Early Modern Europe, is producing new findings on the complex world of academies in Renaissance Italy. The researchers have launched a website on Italian Academies to present their findings on social interactions among academy members during the Renaissance.
The team has also created an online Database of Italian Academies at the British Library with information on Renaissance academies and their members. The website for the database claims that: “The British Library holds some of the finest collections outside Italy of publications produced by Italian Academies and their members. Much of this material is catalogued in ways which have not permitted easy access by scholars working on a particular Academy or on Academies in general. The creation of a Themed Collection of data relating to Academies aims to open up the Library’s holdings to new research on the Italian learned Academies of the late Renaissance and early modern periods and their relationship to book production, printing and publishing in this period.” The Database of Italian Academies is searchable by people, subjects, and images.
The Italian newspaper La Repubblica reports on the new research. [Thanks to my colleague Monica Azzolini (University of Edinburgh) for this reference.]
Digital Humanities projects such as the The Italian Academies 1525-1700, The Medici Archive Project, The 1641 Depositions, Gallica, and Europeana are radically changing how Renaissance and early modern scholars conduct research.