Access the AHRC-funded Italian Academies project and the British Library Italian Academies database, a collaboration between Royal Holloway University of London, the University of Reading and the British Library.
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  Renaissance Society of America – Boston 31 March – 2 April 2016
Italian Academies 1450-1700: networks, knowledge, and culture
For the next Renaissance Society of America, I am organizing together with Lisa Sampson (University of Reading), one or more panels on Italian Academies.
The sixteenth and seventeenth centuries saw the huge expansion of the academic movement in Italy with more than 800 documented academies. These social and intellectual circles were present across the peninsula, in big cities as well as smaller towns and villages. It was impossible for intellectuals, both Italians and foreigners, to ignore the social space of academies and their importance for sharing activities and ideas. We are organizing panels on the new research in this field produced as a result of the AHRC-funded Italian Academies project and the related Italian Academies Database (, which has renewed interest in these gatherings and their cultural and scientific production in centres across the Italian peninsula.
We welcome paper proposals on, but not limited to, the following topics:
·         Less studied geographical centres outside the ‘golden triangle’ of Venice, Florence and Rome
·         Networks and relations between different academies in the same city or across cities
·         Transnational connections between Italian academies/their members and other cognate institutions in Europe
·         Printed or manuscript works, and oral culture in the academies
·         Proto academies of the 15th century
·         Visual culture – emblem studies, symbols, paintings related to specific academies
·         Music, theatre and spectacle in the Italian academies
·         Science and secrets in the Italian academies
·         Politics and diplomacy in the Italian academies
·         Academies and their archives and libraries
·         Academies and material culture
·         Digital humanities and the Italian academies
Papers may be given in English or Italian.
Please send a title (no more than 15 words), short abstract (150 words maximum), a short biography (300 words maximum), and keywords, to Simone Testa (, and Lisa Sampson ( by 31 May 2015

Feature article about the Italian Academies Database, in the AHRC website!

The Podcast for the 2013 Symposium at the University of Reading, is now available here

RSA Berlin 2015 (26-28 March): Italian Academies 1400-1700: proto academies, small academies, geographical margins and peripheries Click here if you want to read the details of the CfP Two panels, with respondent have been accepted.

New ‘About’ Page with an Introduction to Academies and their world, and a general Bibliography of critical literature, are both now available on the Italian Academies Database Page.



Before the summer 2013: Literature Theatre and the Arts: One-day conference took place at the University of Reading (Monday 24 June 2013) Click HERE to see the programme. Abstracts available, look at the link.

Read about the THE ITALIAN ACADEMIES Project in the news: here in Italian, and here in Portuguese (we’re big in Brazil now!), and… here… in a special magazine dedicated to Wellness.

Explore the rich world of Academies: music, geography, visual arts, oral culture (debates on love, parenthood etc.), printed and manuscript publications, academicians’ portraits, funny names and emblems, follow us on facebook:

‘Italian Academies Database’

Access the over 8,300 entries of the Database:

Italian Academies 1525-1700

the first intellectual networks of early modern Europe

This four-year research project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, UK (2010-14), builds upon and enhances research undertaken as an AHRC funded Resource Enhancement Project (2006-2009).

Accademia dei Riaccesi in Bologna – the motto reads Per occulta virtu’


This project involves a collaboration between three of the UK’s leading research institutions: Royal Holloway University of London; the University of Reading; the British Library.

One of the major outcomes of the project is a comprehensive database of information on Academies from across the Italian peninsula, detailing their membership and publications. This is publicly accessible through the British Library on-line catalogue at:

For information on research publications, conferences and workshops, presentations and events associated with the Italian Academies project please use the drop-down menus and follow the links.

In keeping with the project’s title, we aim through this website to develop an international network of scholars working on topics related to learned Academies. The network is intended to link scholars working across a wide range of disciplines, and concerned with questions of intelletctual networking and the transmission of ideas in the early modern period and beyond.

We welcome all requests for exchanges of information and will be happy to try to answer questions. Please get in touch!

September 2012, International conference: click to access Programme and podcast

Access the Database:

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