Medici Archive Project
"The Medici family, Grand Dukes & Duchesses of Tuscany from 1537 to 1743, presided over the most brilliant court in Europe. The "Medici Archive Project is a non-profit international Foundation based in the Archivio di Stato in Florence, Italy with offices in the United States". The online archive project is dedicated to one of the "most influential family dynasty in Western civilization: the Medici". The aim of the digitization project is to create worldwide access to the historical data in the Medici Grand Ducal Archive by way of a free fully searchable on-line database with cutting-edge digital technology, [...],more. "Established by Grand Duke Cosimo I in 1569, the Grand Ducal Archive offers the most complete record of any princely regime in Renaissance and Baroque Europe. Since this Archive consists mostly of letters (nearly three million filling a full kilometer of shelf-space), it offers an incomparable panorama of two-hundred years of human history.... However, this unique documentary resource has never been catalogued and indexed, nor microfilmed and accessed by electronic means." At the moment, only a small part of the full collection of millions of letters and documents have been digitized and loaded for further text-mining activities in a fully and freely searchable database: the documentary Sources for the Arts and Humanities in the Medici Granducal Archive: 1537-1743. This evaluation version of MAP's Documentary Sources database currently describes 200 volumes of documents in the Medici Granducal Archive (Archivio Mediceo del Principato), with document records for approximately 10,000 letters and biographical records for approximately 11,000 people." The responsible for the digitization project are asking for comments and suggestions from scholars using the documentation. The MAP allows users to interact with the documentation and annotate documentation creating in this way new specific sub-collections of the documentation. An example of the collaboration between the team developing the MAP project and international scholarsg led to the creation of a Jewish History section in the archive: the Medici Granducal Archive "constitutes an impressive and unexplored historical reservoir of Jewish history. Its content opens new windows onto cross-sections of Jewish culture in early modern Italy and Europe. Recognizing the scholarly magnitude of this data, MAP researchers have been taking note of all historical documents making direct or indirect reference to Jews and Jewish culture that they encounter during their normal operations. So far approximately one thousand letters, almost all written in Italian, have been transcribed and entered in a rudimentary database (only available via special appointment) in the hopes of one day enlisting an expert in early modern Jewry to contextualize them and publish them online. These documents were found during the course of research that has only covered five percent of the four million letters that make up the Medici Granducal Archive; presumably there are thousands of other documents on Jews and Jewish culture waiting to be discovered in the remaining ninety-five percent of this immense archival collection." Another specific project from the MAP is the Jane Fortune Research Program on Women Artists in the Age of the Medici. "The Age of the Medici Grand Duchy was a golden age for women artists in Italy. Professional women painters and sculptors in this period include from the 16th century: Sofonisba Anguissola, Giulia Calvi, Properzia De Rossi, Ippolita Degli Erri, Lavinia Fontana, Fede Galizia, Lucrezia di Panciatichi, Plautilla Nelli, Marietta Robusti, and Lucrezia Quistelli della Mirandola; and from the 17th century: Angela Veronica Airola, Plautilla Bricci, Orsola Maddalena Caccia, Margherita Caffi, Maria De Dominicis, Lucrina Fetti, Giovanna Garzoni, Artemisia Gentileschi, Felicità Lupicini, Elisabetta Sirani, and Virginia Vezzo."

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Monday, 8 August 2011 - 9:07pm
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