Library Digital Collections

The library has outstanding holdings in early Italian printing, and its Dante collection is particularly renowned. The coverage is exceptional, including 14 of the 15 editions printed before 1500, and in total, 39 of the 44 editions of the Divine Comedy printed in Italy before 1629, often in multiple copies, as well as editions of Dante’s other works of the period.

Digital facsimiles of eight early editions have now been completed, in part with funding from the British Academy (Manchester Digital Dante) and John Rylands Research Institute. These editions were produced at a time when editorial conventions in the new medium of print were still extremely fluid and they express very different approaches to and intentions for Dante’s poem in their format, layout, and accompanying paratexts. We hope to add more to this collection in the future.