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.

Issue 1

The Italian Academies 1530-1650: a Themed Collection Database.

 Issue 1. October 2006


The AHRC funded project: The Italian Academies 1530-1650: a themed collection database began in September, following the announcement of the award of funding from the AHRC in June. Funding has been provided for 3 years, 2006-2009.

The project is running as a collaboration between Royal Holloway University of London and the British Library, in the context of the consortium between the two institutions.

The successful launch of the project, designated a Resource Enhancement scheme by the AHRC, follows several years of discussion between colleagues in the two institutions, and in particular the operation of a pilot scheme, funded by Royal Holloway’s Research Strategy Fund. The pilot scheme was an essential element in our successful application for funding to the AHRC, since it allowed us to test a number of hypotheses, and so formulate the bid for major funding on the basis of proven experience. We are very grateful for the grant from the Research Strategy Fund.

Both in the course of the pilot scheme, and in the preparation of the bid to the AHRC in autumn 2005, the project investigators had invaluable assistance and advice from BL staff, in particular from eIS on the design of the spreadsheets for inputting data and the design, maintenance and operation of the database within the BL Themed Collections initiative. Without this advice, it is likely that we could not have secured funding. Heartfelt thanks to all for their input in the period of the pilot scheme and the preparation of the bid.

Project Management
The Project Management team consists of:

  • Professor Jane Everson, Department of Italian, Royal Holloway University of London;
    e-mail: j.everson(at) – Principal Investigator (PI).
  • Mr. Denis Reidy, Italian and Modern Greek Collections, British Library;
    e-mail: denis.reidy(at) – BL investigator (status of Co-I).
  • Mr. Simon Wolf, EiS, British Library;
    e-mail: simon.woolf(at) –  eIS (IT support).
  • Dr. Simone Testa, Department of Italian, Royal Holloway University of London;
    e-mail: s.testa(at) – full-time postdoctoral Research Assistant (RA1).
  • Dott. Lorenza Gianfrancesco, Department of Italian, Royal Holloway University of London;
    e-mail: l.gianfrancesco(at) – half-time Research Assistant (RA2).

The Project Management team meets once a month towards the beginning of each month to review progress to date and plot the scheme of work for the following month. The principal issues discussed in the meetings held at the end of August and at the beginning of October have centred on the precise design of the web pages for the themed collection, clarification of searchable terms, navigation needs of the potential user, etc. The team has received advice on this from colleagues within the BL including Adrian Arthur, Mandy Stewart and Chris Martyn, and is continuing to work on refining the design in the light of comments received: thank you to all.
Under consideration is the idea of adding scanned, digitised images of emblems to the web database. There are both technical and funding issues here to be resolved; comments, ideas and suggestions would be gratefully received.

Advisory Panel
An Advisory Panel has been constituted, to provide advice on wider issues including new scholarly publications, similar projects, web sites etc which may assist us in the design and operation of ours, and to provide general guidance to the project overall.

The members of the Advisory Panel are:

  • Professor Charles Hope, Warburg Institute, University of London – chairman.
  • Dr. Letizia Panizza, Honorary Research Fellow, Royal Holloway University of London
  • Mr. David Ward, librarian and member of the BL-RHUL consortium steering committee
  • Mr. Chris Michaelides, Italian and Modern Greek collections, British Library; e-mail:
  • Ms Mandy Stewart, eIS, British Library; e-mail:
  • Mr. Chris Martyn, British Library; e-mail:
  • Mr. Adrian Arthur, British Library; e-mail:
  • The Project Management team (as above)

 The E-Bulletin

The purpose of the Bulletin
The Project Management team is very appreciative of the interest in the Italian Academies project across our institutions, and we are also very much aware of the expertise in many quarters which could benefit our project as it develops. The purpose of this bulletin and its circulation is to provide information on the development of the project to any and all the interested parties, and to invite comment, suggestions, advice and feedback on particular issues as they arise. We look forward to hearing from you. We would also welcome suggestions of names to be added to the bulletin circulation list, and for your comments on the content of the bulletin.

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