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University of Wisconsin–Madison

An Enrichment Plan for French- and Italian-language Library Collections: Some Key Acquisitions


This project will allow for acquisition of a single work in Italian, a copy of the 1578 Venice edition of Dante con l’Espositioni di Cristoforo Landino et d’Alessandro Vellutello sopra la sua Comedia dell’Inferno, del Purgatorio, & del Paradiso; and the purchase of a new collection of 240 contemporary French-language comics and graphic novels.

This project offers an excellent opportunity to strengthen UW–Madison’s Special Collections’ holdings of medieval and early Renaissance commentaries. We are fortunate that Special Collections already possesses several editions of Alessandro Vellutello’s important commentary on Petrarch. This acquisition of Vellutello’s commentary on Dante will fill a crucial gap. Other features make the 1578 Venice edition a significant work of Dantean commentary, including the many fine woodcut illustrations originally cut for the edition of Vellutello’s commentary published by Francesco Marcolini in 1544.

The acquisition of 240 contemporary French-language comics and graphic novels includes works mostly published since 2000 during a boom in the production, popularity, and accessibility of French-language graphic novels. The UW–Madison Libraries currently own a diverse collection of English-language comics.  By contrast, the French-language comics currently held by our libraries include around 100 books on and by Tintin creator Hergé but far fewer books on or by any other French-speaking author.  The purchase of these French-language graphic novels would correct this imbalance in the libraries’ current holdings, while also making the UW-Madison a hub for its collections of contemporary graphic novels from both the American and Franco-Belgian schools of comics.

The benefits of these acquisitions extend to faculty and students in many units, including African Cultural Studies, Art, Art History, Communication Arts, English, History, and Spanish and Portuguese, the Medieval Studies Program, the Center for History of Print and Digital Culture, and the Center for Early Modern Studies.


Anne Vila, Professor of French, French & Italian


Laura Martin, Interim Librarian for Ibero-American Studies and Romance Languages and Literatures


Jelena Todorovic, Associate Professor of Italian, French & Italian

Peter Russella, Ph.D. student in French, French & Italian