Virtual Humanities Lab (VHL)

Created in 2004 thanks to a two-year grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the VHL provides a portal and a collaborative platform for faculty-led digital projects in Italian literature, philosophy, history and history of art and architecture, ranging from the early modern to the contemporary period. Directed by Massimo Riva, in close collaboration with the Center for Digital Scholarship of the Brown University Library, and the Brown Digital Publications Initiative, the VHL also provides a framework for the training of graduate students in the Digital Humanities. Among recent projects, interactive installations of the Garibaldi Panorama on a touch screen were presented in various Italian libraries and museums in Italy, including the Sala del Risorgimento of the Palazzo Pubblico in Siena, on the occasion of the 2011 Sesquicentennial of Italian unification. 

Decameron Web

The recipient of several awards, including two major grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Decameron Web is a collaborative online resource for the study and teaching of Giovanni Boccaccio’s Decameron, considered within its historical context and from contemporary, comparative and interdisciplinary perspectives. Worldwide students of Boccaccio can contribute to interpretations, visualizations and creative adaptations of Boccaccio’s masterpiece in various media. Editors: Michael Papio (University of Massachusetts at Amherst) and Massimo Riva.

Pico della Mirandola Project

Begun in 2002 as a collaboration among scholars at Brown and the University of Bologna, and later extended to contributing scholars worldwide, the Pico Project provides a resource for the reading and interpretation of Pico della Mirandola’s thought within our contemporary post-humanist context. Scholars participating in the project can use the project’s platform to annotate two of Pico’s most influential texts (the Discourse on Human Dignity and Conclusiones Nongentae, aka Nine Hundred Theses) in a collaborative fashion. The project has produced printed editions of Pico’s works in three languages (English, Italian, and Spanish). Editors: Francesco Borghesi (University of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia), Dino Buzzetti (University of Bologna, Emeritus), Michael Papio (University of Massachusetts at Amherst), Ernesto Priani (Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico), Massimo Riva.

The Theatre That Was Rome

This selection of documents from the collection of Vincent J. Buonanno '66, and the Brown University Library, brings together digitized printed views, maps, festival prints, architectural treatises and other illustrated books from and about Rome from the 16th-19th centuries. This site will be the repository of Francesca Consagra's research on the de Rossi family print shops in 17th and 18th century Rome to provide a digital humanities resource for the study of printing, book illustration and publishing in early modern Rome. Editor: Evelyn Lincoln.

Garibaldi Panorama and the Risorgimento Archive

The Garibaldi Panorama & the Risorgimento digital archive aims to provide a multimedia resource for the interdisciplinary study and teaching of the life and deeds of one of the main protagonists of the Italian unification process, Giuseppe Garibaldi (1807-1882). The project focuses in particular on how Garibaldi’s image and his military actions were perceived by foreign public opinion of his time, across Europe and the Americas.  At the heart of this archive is a dynamic visualization of the Garibaldi Panorama (1860), a unique survival of a popular form of 19th-century public art, part of the Ann S. K. Brown Military Collection at Brown University. Editor: Massimo Riva.

FORTHCOMING -Nicholas Brown and the Roman Republic

As the American consul to Rome at the time of the Roman Revolution (1848-49), Nicholas Brown, ignoring the U.S. Secretary of State’s instructions to remain neutral, threw himself into the effort to end “priestly rule” in Rome. His papers ended up in the Brown University archives, including many letters from Giuseppe Mazzini and other key protagonists of that struggle. In an effort to make this resource, largely unknown to the scholarly community, more widely available, the project will provide digitized copies of these rich materials and a variety of features placing them in full historical context. Editor: David Kertzer.