In its current configuration, the VHL provides a portal for interdisciplinary projects in Italian Studies and a platform for the encoding and annotations of a mini-corpus of late Medieval and humanist texts, including: Giovanni Villani, Nuova Cronica; Giovanni Boccaccio, Decameron and Esposizioni sopra la Comedia di Dante; Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, Oratio De Hominis Dignitate and Conclusiones Nongentae. This platform is accessible to participating collaborators only. To become a collaborator, use the contact form linked to this page.


The Decameron Web

This XML electronic edition of Boccaccio’s Decameron and other works, and the accompanying hypermedia archive of contextual materials, are conceived as an encyclopedic gateway into late Medieval life and culture. The Decameron Web was awarded two consecutive NEH grants for the years 1998-2002. The guiding question of this project is how contemporary informational technology can facilitate and enhance the complex cognitive and… See more


The Theater That Was Rome

This selection of works from the collection of Vincent J. Buonanno ’66, focuses on printed views, maps, and illustrated books from and about the Eternal City from the 16th-18th centuries. Along with illustrated books, festival prints, and architectural treatises from the collection of the John Hay Library, it includes Francesca Consagra’s inventories of the de Rossi print shops… See more


The Garibaldi & Risorgimento Project

The Garibaldi / Risorgimento digital archive seeks to provide a comprehensive resource for the interdisciplinary study and teaching of the life and deeds of one of the major protagonists of the Italian unification process (1807-1882), reconstructed with the help of materials from special collections at the Brown University libraries. At the heartt of this digital archive is a dynamic visualization of the Hay library’s unique Garibaldi moving panorama… See More



Heliotropia is a peer-reviewed journal that was created to provide a widely and readily available forum for research and interpretation to an international community of Boccaccio scholars. Its role, first and foremost, is to promote and disseminate recent scholarship in a form that is both efficiently accessible and cost-free… See More


Progetto Pico / Pico Project

The Brown-University of Bologna Pico Project began as a collaborative online annotated edition of Giovanni Pico della Mirandola’s Oration on Human Dignity (1486), presented here in its first printed edition (Bologna, 1496). It now includes Pico’s Conclusiones Nongentae Disputandae (1486), or 900 Theses, an extraordinary attempt at a synthesis and “reconciliation” of all known philosophical and theological ideas… See More


Florentine Renaissance Resources

This site gives access to a database (c. 165,000 records) with information about office holders of the Florentine Republic during its 250-year history. The database was developed initially by Professor David Herlihy at Harvard and Brown Universities, and then completed under the direction of Professors R. Burr Litchfield and Anthony Molho at Brown with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities… See More


Narratives For The Next Millennium

This project was linked to a pedagogical experiment: a hybrid between a literature and a creative writing course focused on the work of Italo Calvino and Umberto Eco. Students adopted Calvino’s categories of lightness, quickness, exactitude, visibility, multiplicity and consistency along with the concepts of hyper-history and hyper-plot derived from Eco in order to produce their own fictional or non-fictional narratives…See More

Digital Pinocchio: Reflections On The Post-Human

This pedagogical experiment approached Carlo Lorenzini’s (Collodi’s) “coming of age” tale from a contemporary angle, focusing on Pinocchio as a “technological construct” and an icon of emerging artificial intelligence and life. Students looked at Pinocchio’s many reincarnations in illustrated books, film and games, and made their own Pinocchio in various media, including an experiment in VR, the Brown Cave…See More