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Italian language & literature collection

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The Italian language and literature collection covers all time periods from the Middle Ages to the 21st century and extends to film, graphic fiction, cultural studies, theory, and criticism. In recent years there has been an interest in immigrant literature, as well as the literature and dialects of the Italian South.. 


Collection description

The core collection of Italian Language and Literature is located on the third floor of the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center, while, because of space considerations, there are thousands of volumes, mostly older, in LIBRA, the library's off-site storage facility. The historical foundation of the collection comes from materials acquired in the 19th and early 20th centuries that emphasized the literature of the Middle Ages and Renaissance, particularly Dante, Boccaccio, and Tasso. The library continues to collect the classical literature that remains a major part of the curriculum and of graduate work, but also collects new fiction, poetry, drama, graphic novels, as well as studies of all time periods and genres, including film.The library also seeks to acquire Italian film on dvd or through streaming. It should be noted that whatever gaps exist in our collections can be filled by recourse to BorrowDirect, EZBorrow, and Interlibrary Loan. Besides providing access to items we do not own, they also make available second copies when Penn's are unavailable. 


Links to special collections will go here if they exist.
Links to policies will go here if they exist.

Doing research


MLA International Bibliography  |  Historical Abstracts  |  BiGLI (Bibliografia Generale della Lingua e della Letteratura Italiana)

Reference works

Research guides


The Italian Studies librarian provides individual reference consultations in person and virtually, as well as in-class orientations and instruction. Contact Joe Holub for these services and for purchase requests by email holub@upenn.edu or leave a phone message at 215-898-4325.