Italian Language, Literature, and Theater Collection Policy


subject description and guidelines

  • The collection encompasses: (1) fiction, poetry, drama, graphic novels, creative nonfiction, and other forms of belles lettres originating in Italy; (2) critical, theoretical, and historical writing on Italian-language literature; (3) general literary theory and criticism written in Italian; (4) scholarship on the history of the Italian language; (6) scholarly writing on Italian folklore; (7) biographies of canonical Italian-language literary figures; and (7) works on the art and craft of Italian theatrical performance; and (8) scholarly work on the Italian-language popular press and mass media.


  • The collection is intended to support the teaching and research needs of undergraduates, graduate students, academic staff, and faculty in the College of Arts & Sciences, with particular consideration for the departments of Romance Studies; Theatre, Film & Dance; and Comparative Literature, as well as several related interdisciplinary programs, specifically: Feminist, Gender & Sexuality Studies; the Institute for Comparative Modernities; Medieval Studies; and the Society for the Humanities.


collection strength

  • Canonical Italian literature and its attendant scholarship are represented at research level, with notable collection strengths in the literature of Italy during the Middle Ages and Renaissance and 19th century periods. While literary fiction is of primary concern, traditional genres of popular fiction such as mystery and science fiction are represented at study level. Romance, techno-thriller, fantasy, and historical fiction are collected at basic or minimal levels.

collection level

  • research 

geographical guidelines

  • Geographical focus includes Italy and countries where Italian has been a major spoken and written language such as the eastern Adriatic coast.

areas of significant geographic coverage

country (self-governing)

  • Italy 
  • Switzerland 

language guidelines

  • Primary texts are mostly in Italian, but our holdings of secondary works include all major European languages.


  • English 
  • French 
  • German 
  • Italian 

chronological guidelines

  • The collection spans Italian-language works of literature from the medieval through contemporary periods.


  • Generally excluded publication formats include textbooks (if designated as such by the publisher); broadsides and chapbooks (with rare exceptions); publications in non-European languages; self-published or vanity press books (unless the author has a direct connection with Cornell); and non-Cornell theses and dissertations (with rare exceptions).

material types

  • Newly acquired material may be in either physical (book, serial, microform, CD-ROM) or virtual (e-journal, database) format. Audiovisual material (DVD, VHS, CD-ROM) includes stage performances, readings of poetry and fiction, documentaries relevant to the study of Italian-language literature and theater. Audio books are acquired only by special request for academic purposes. For new serial subscriptions the default mode is electronic access only (if available) unless physical issues present visual content better suited for research or the physical format is specifically requested by faculty and graduate students.


housed in

  • Carl A. Kroch Library
  • Library Annex
  • Olin Library

special collections or noteworthy resources in the field

  • Effort is made to support collection strengths present in the Division of Rare and Manuscripts Collection, specifically, Dante and Petrarch.


academic department

  • Comparative Literature (COM L)
  • Performing and Media Arts (PMA)
  • Romance Studies (ROM S)

graduate field/program

  • Feminist, Gender, & Sexuality Studies 
  • Medieval Studies

academic unit

  • Society for the HumanitieS


  • History (HIST)


library contact

  • How, Sarah E. -  European Studies Librarian