The Digital Medici and the Fall of Italian Archives

Tuesday, December 13, 2016, 5:30 pm
Folger Board Room
Free, reservations required

Dr. Alessio Assonitis, director of the Medici Archive Project (MAP), will be speaking about the work MAP has undertaken in recent years to develop digital humanities tools which can be used by scholars, scholarly institutions, and the general public to learn more about early modern European culture.

The archival collection, Medici Grand Ducal Archival Collection (Mediceo del Principato) in Florence, comprises over four million letters distributed in 6,429 volumes, spanning from 1537 to 1743, and occupying a mile of shelf space. It documents the political, diplomatic, gastronomic, economic, artistic, scientific, military and medical culture of early modern Tuscany and Europe.

MAP works to generate scholarly discourse and embrace disparate dimensions of scholarly experience. At the center of their efforts is the online platform BIA, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. BIA provides access to an unparalleled range of digitized early modern material. BIA has enabled scholars to view digitized images of archival documents, enter transcriptions, provide scholarly feedback, and exchange comments in designated forums, all within an online academic community of more than 2,400 scholars, students, and enthusiasts from all over the world.

Dr. Assonitis will also address issues (and solutions) related to Italian archives today and will present MAP’s new scholarly initiatives, including publications with academic publisher Brepols and the ongoing Digital Humanities project, provisionally entitled MIA (Medici Interactive Archive), also sponsored by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

This lecture is free and open to the general public. Reception to follow.