Guido Mazzoni pamphlet collection, 1572-1946, bulk 1750-1940
Using These Materials
- Collection is open for research.
- Mazzoni, Guido, 1859-1943
This collection of print materials, many of them rare and ephemeral, was assembled over many decades by Guido Mazzoni, an Italian Senator, Dante scholar, professor, and bibliophile. The approximately 49,648 pieces span the years 1572 through 1946, with the bulk dating from the mid-18th to the early 20th centuries. Topics range widely and include Italian politics, particularly the rise of Socialism and Fascism; Italian humanities, especially poetry, theater, and opera; Dante studies; patriotic writings, including some by Mussolini and others in his regime; and the history and context of both World Wars. Popular literary and cultural serials abound, many with writings by noted authors, including women writers. Given Mazzoni's background in academics, his friendships with publishers, and his residence in Padova and Firenze, many of the authors are Jewish. Many of the pieces were sent to Mazzoni from former students or colleagues and are inscribed to him. Mazzoni collected many rare pieces from the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries; broadsides from Napoleonic, Medicean, and Borbonic Italian regions are numerous. Formats represented in the collection include: pamphlets, offprints, clippings, full-issue newspapers (many from the Piedmont), libretti, scores, manuscript items, small cards, periodicals, small volumes, political broadsides, epithalamia (pieces produced on the occasion of a wedding), and one handmade photo album. There are many illustrated publications, fine engravings, woodcuts, and items with map inserts. About 80 percent of the material is in the Italian language: other common languages include Latin, French, English, German. There are also some publications in Greek, Spanish, Catalan, Portuguese, and Eastern European languages.
The largest and most developed subject areas, with thousands of pamphlets in each series, relate to Italian history from the inception of population on the Italian peninsula through the early 1940s, with emphasis on the 18th and 19th centuries; Italian language and literature from its earliest manifestations through the 1930s; Italian and European politics, ranging from the Etruscans to the rise of Fascism in the 1930s; and biographical works on Italian notables.
Smaller but rich subject collections relate to Italian education; social life and customs in Italy; archaeology; music, especially opera and popular music; art history; and religious history. The literary, political, and scientific individuals represented by the collection are too numerous to mention in this introduction, but more detailed information can be found under the section for each subject area listed in this guide. As Guido Mazzoni was the protegé of Giosué Carducci, that poet is most well-represented; also, as Mazzoni was one of the leading Dante scholars in Italy of his time, materials on Dante Alighieri and his works number in the thousands.
860 Linear Feet
- Material in Italian, French, German, Latin, Spanish, and English, with smaller amounts in other languages.
- Collection ID:
- Scope and Content:
The Guido Mazzoni Pamphlet Collection spans the years 1572 through 1946, with approximately 46,825 pieces in the collection. The bulk of the material, chiefly in the Italian language, dates from the mid-eighteenth to the early twentieth centuries. Formats represented include: pamphlets, libretti, clippings, newspapers, scores, manuscript items, small cards, periodicals, small volumes, broadsides (some very large), epithalamia (pieces produced on the occasion of a wedding), and one photo album. There are many illustrated publications, fine engravings, woodcuts, and items with maps enclosed.
About 80 percent of the materials is in the Italian language, though other languages are represented, most notably Latin, French, English, German, Greek, Spanish, Catalan, Portuguese, and Eastern European languages.
This guide offers access to brief descriptive records for each item. Hundreds of pamphlets, particularly the epithalamia, were described more fully in the library's online catalog and can be found by using the subject keywords "provenance" and "mazzoni guido." A full set of more than 30 volumes held by the library offers photocopied images of Mazzoni's handwritten catalog slips for subject and name access to the pamphlets.
Guido Mazzoni assembled 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, politics, 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 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 into the twentieth century. The intellectual arrangement assigned to the pamphlets by library staff places them into thirty-one subject areas.
The largest and most developed subject areas, each represented by thousands of pamphlets, are: Italian history from the inception of population on the Italian peninsula through the 1940s, with emphasis on the 18th and 19th centuries; Italian language and literature from their earliest manifestations through the 1930s; Italian and European politics, ranging from the Etruscan period to the 1930s; and biographical works on Italian notables. Smaller but rich subject collections include Italian education; social life and customs in Italy; archaeology; music, especially popular music and opera; art history; and religious history. Many individual items, particularly literary publications, are ephemeral, rare, and difficult to locate in the United States and even in Italy.
The literary, political, and scientific individuals represented in the collection are too numerous for this introduction, but more detailed information can be found under the section for each subject area listed below. Suffice it to say that virtually every important poet, dramatist, writer, historian, and political figure of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries is represented, and, perhaps more importantly, many minor authors and political figures of those eras whose works are now difficult to find. In addition, prominent scientific individuals of the nineteenth century and early twentieth centuries are represented in the collection. As Guido Mazzoni was the protegé of Giosué Carducci, that poet is most well-represented; also, as Mazzoni was one of the leading Dante scholars in Italy of his time, materials relating to every topic in Dante studies number in the thousands.
- Biographical / Historical:
Chronology Date Event 1859 Guido Mazzoni born in Florence, Italy c.1875-1880 Studied in Pisa, then in Bologna under Giosué Carducci 1880 Published three works at age twenty-one: Versi (a collection of his own poetry), a translation of epigrams by Meleager, and Saggi su Melchior Cesarotti 1881 Appointed professor of liceo (undergraduate-level school); taught in schools in Lodi, Pisa, and Rome 1887 Appointed Professor of Italian Literature at the University of Padua 1889 Initiated the lecture series "Lectura Dantis" of Orsanmichele in Florence 1894 Nominated to the Chair of Italian Literature at the University of Florence, remaining there 40 years 1897 Married Nella Chiarini, the daughter of one of his closest colleagues, Giuseppe Chiarini; had four children, Piero, Gina, Silvia, and Carlo 1910 Elected to the Italian Parliament as Senator (life term); served until 1942 1915 Volunteered for military duty during World War I in exchange for his son, Carlo, who was in an Austrian prisoner-of-war camp until 1917; assigned to the Alpine region as lieutenant at age 56 1917 Promoted to Captain 1918 Received awards for his bravery in battles on the front lines of the Isonzo River 1934 Retired from the University of Florence 1943 Died in Florence, Italy
- Acquisition Information:
- The Guido Mazzoni pamphlet collection was originally received as a purchase in 1947 by the Rare Books Department of Duke University's Perkins Library. The collection is now now forms part of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book Manuscript Library's holdings.
- Processing information:
Processed by Paula Jeannet and student assistants, 1992-1994.
An online database of pamphlet titles originally published in the 1990s was decommissioned in November 2020 and item-level description was migrated to this collection guide.
Mazzoni developed a call number system and marked the cover of each item with unique identifiers; these call numbers and the collection's original physical order have been retained.
Mazzoni's call numbers consist of a capital letter (A-G), an Arabic numeral, and a Roman numeral. For example, A.13.XV represents pamphlet number 15 in group A, section 13. During processing, library staff assigned some large-format items with a "Q" or an "F" to designate them as oversize materials. They have been unfolded and separated from the main collection and housed in appropriately sized containers.
The pamphlets are housed in section order, A-G, in upright boxes; the range of call numbers in each box is recorded in the online catalog records for each lettered section.
This guide includes over 46,500 abbreviated bibliographic descriptions for items in the collection. This guide does not follow the physical order of the collection, but organizes pamphlets into 31 series, which correspond to broad subject categories. Within each category, pamphlets are arranged in alphabetical order by author last name. Titles with unidentified authors are listed in title order at the end of each series. Mazzoni's original call numbers appear as the item number for each piece.
- Rules or Conventions:
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Related Material:
The 1947 acquisition of Guido Mazzoni's personal library included rare volumes and other publications in his library as well as the separate pamphlet collection. The items from his book library, including many of the epithalamia, or "per nozze," became part of the Perkins Library Rare Book Department's holdings; many titles were also transferred to the Perkins Library general book collections.
All of these items can be found in the the Duke Libraries' online catalog by searching for the note linking them to the Guido Mazzoni library. Please consult with a reference librarian for assistance.
Click on terms below to find related finding aids on this site. For other related materials in the Duke University Libraries, search for these terms in the Catalog.
Architecture -- Italy
Biography -- Italy
Education -- Italy
Fascism -- Italy
Italian language -- History
Italian literature -- History
Literature -- France
Literature -- Italy
Musicology -- Italy
Periodicals -- Italy
Science -- Italy
Socialism -- Italy
Songs -- Italy
World War, 1914-1918 -- Austria
World War, 1914-1918 -- France
World War, 1914-1918 -- Italy
World War, 1939-1945 -- France
World War, 1939-1945 -- Germany
World War, 1939-1945 -- Italy
Carducci, Giosué, 1835-1907
Dante Alighieri, 1265-1321
Mazzoni, Guido, 1859-1943 -- Biography
Europe -- Description and travel -- 19th century
Italy -- Social life and customs
Italy -- Description and travel
Italy -- History
Italy -- Politics and government
Italy -- Church history
Using These Materials
Collection is open for research.
- USE & PERMISSIONS:
The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to Duke University. For more information, consult the copyright section of the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.
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- PREFERRED CITATION:
[Identification of item], Guido Mazzoni pamphlet collection, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.