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UW-Madison Libraries’ Department of Special Collections Awarded Grant to Support Work with Fry Collection of Italian History and Culture

July 26, 2017
1.R. Università degli Studi “Benito Mussolini.” Rivista 1:3. Bari: Officio Stampa e Propaganda della R. Università, 1934.

The Department of Special Collections at the UW-Madison Libraries pleased to announce it has the honor of the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation funding an upcoming project cataloging and preserving the with the Fry Collection of Italian History and Culture. The $9,500 grant will allow Special Collections to hire a graduate student to work on cataloging the approximately 1400 printed books in the Collection.

More about the Fry Collection

Between 1995 and 2011, physicist and professor emeritus William “Jack” Fry donated more than 40,000 Italian books, manuscripts, ephemera, and periodicals to the University of Wisconsin-Madison Libraries. Now located in the Department of Special Collections, the Fry Collection of Italian History and Culture spans seven centuries and includes a diverse array of materials, from an incunabulum (a 1480 Venetian edition of Diogenes Laertius) to children’s manuscripts (such as school notebooks from the Fascist period). Dr. Fry’s interests were broad, and he categorized his collection by period or topic, including the Veneto, Communism, Fascism, even the Italian postal service.

The collection can enrich teaching and research in fields as diverse as Italian literature, history, political science, musicology, religious studies, and the history of science. Skye Doney, PhD, Director of UW-Madison’s Mosse Program in History, underscores the importance of the Fry Collection for historians of Europe: “Mosse Program Fellows have used the Fry Collection since 2000 to write important works on Italian fascism and Italian culture. Their publications include Giovanni Ceci’s Il terrorismo italiano and Donatello Aramini’s George L. Mosse, L’Italia e gli Storici. The Fry Collection is a unique repository of critical works on Italian history in the United States, and with increased visibility the Fry Collection will attract more scholars interested in questions of Italian fascism, Catholicism, and culture.”

Il Manifesto Scolastico Settimanale. La Grande “Litoranea Libica” dalla Tunisia all’Egitto. Milan, 28 February 1937.

In addition to undertaking the essential work of cataloging and preserving the collection, the graduate student will publicize the Fry Collection through the library’s social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, and our blog.