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Italian Research Guide

The purpose of this research guide is to introduce you to the variety of sources available to you as you begin your research on Italian language and literature at Queens College Libraries. It is organized according to:

Encyclopedias & Dictionaries

Italian Literature

Dictionary of Italian Literature (Ref. PQ4006 .D45 1996)
Covers Italian literature from the Middle Ages to the present.
Encyclopedia of Italian Literary Studies (Ref. PQ4006 .E536 2007, 2 vols.)
Comprehensive overview of Italian literary culture, schools, styles, and movements using a variety of approaches and perspectives.
Feminist Encyclopedia of Italian Literature (Ref. PQ4063 .F45 1997)
Italian literary culture and writings by women and men who have a feminist perspective.
Other Italy: The Literary Canon in Dialect (Ref. PQ4053 .D45 H35 1999)
Dialect poetry, drama and narrative prose.
Oxford Companion to Italian Literature (Ref. PQ4006 .O84 2002)
Presents the whole of Italian literature from early thirteenth century to the present by an international team of scholars.

Italian History & Culture

Regions of Italy: A Reference Guide to History and Culture (Ref. DG417 .D65 2002)
Characteristics and cultures of the 20 regions and smaller localities of Italy.
Encyclopedia of Contemporary Italian Culture (Ref. DG450 .E53 2002)
Current information on post-1945 Italian culture, including biographies, definitions and histories related to institutions, practices, and social activities.
Historical dictionary of Modern Italy (Ref. DG555 .G53 2007, 2nd edition)
Key people, events and developments since the beginning of the nineteenth century.

Italian Language

Dictionary of Italian Slang and Colloquial Expressions (Ref. PC1971 .G63 1999)
4500 common Italian slang words and colloquial expressions.
Grande dizionario italiano dell'uso (Ref. PC1625 .D35 1999, 6 vols.)
Contains 250,000 words and their definitions, with many foreign, common and technical terms. 2003 edition is available in CD-ROM, which corresponds to the six volume printed volume set; ask at the Media Commons service desk, first floor.
Grande dizionario della lingua italiana (Ref. PC 1625 .B3 1961, 21 vols.)
Monumental and scholarly dictionary of definitions, including all possible meanings of words and their examples.
DII dizionario: Inglese italiano-italiano inglese (Ref. PC1640 .D28 2001)
Contemporary English and Italian with focus on technical, economic and cultural terms.

Online Dictionary


Books & E-Books

The CUNY Catalog
Search for books at the Queens College libraries, as well as other CUNY libraries.
Library Catalogs
Search the library catalogs of regional libraries such as, New York University, Columbia University, etc.
New York Public Library
Search CATNYP, the catalog of the research libraries at NYPL. Books at the research libraries are non-circulating and must be consulted on site. NYPL has one of the premier research collections in the country and is open to all New York State residents.
Torrossa (Casalini Libri)
Digital collection of Italian electronic books (e-books) in the arts & humanities, and language & literature; content is searchable by title and publisher, and all content can be found in the CUNY catalog. Publication dates cover 1996 to present, in the subject fields of Arts & Humanities, Italian, Language & Literature, Spanish and Theatre.



Below are a few suggested humanities-related databases to search for journal articles that also cover Italian language and literature. You can use other databases depending on what topic you are researching.

Arts & Humanities Citation Index
Arts, humanities, literature, dance, archaeology and history. Citations to articles only.
Humanities Full Text
Full text articles from English language journals in the arts and humanities.
Database of full text scholarly journal articles in many disciplines, including language and literature. Coverage is from the journal's first issue to about five years ago.
Literature Resource Center
Biographical and critical information on authors, explications, overviews of literature and a timeline of literary events from antiquity to the present.
MLA International Bibliography
Produced by Modern Language Association of America, covers scholarship related to literature, linguistics, folklore, literary theory, etc. with citations to journal articles, book chapters, dissertations, etc.
Project Muse
Full text scholarly and peer reviewed humanities journal articles in fields of literature and cultural studies.


Electronic Journals & Newspapers


Associations & Programs

Istituto Italiano di Cultura, New York
Cultural office of the Consulate General of Italy, located in Manhattan, its purpose is to foster cultural links between Italy and the United States by promoting cultural events, academic exchanges, etc. It hosts regular events, lectures, press conferences, etc.
John D. Calandra Italian American Institute
Officially designated as a university-wide institute under the aegis of Queens College in 1995, it is devoted to documenting and preserving the Italian American experience. Programs range from collecting data on Italian Americans, to archival projects for preservation, to counseling students, providing internships and more.
Italian Program at Queens College
Information on course offerings at Queens College; the faculty, the major, and placement.


For more resources, including on-line reference materials, Italian libraries, book trade, Italian news agencies, newspapers, magazines, associations, etc., consult:

A general reminder: You should always evaluate the accuracy of your sources wherever you find them, and think critically about the author's arguments. When in doubt, check with your Italian instructor.


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