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Historical Travel Guides

Florentine History and Topography in Selected Sources, Part I Guides to Florence (1600-1800)

Florence was the place where the modern travel guide was invented for visitors who came to see the city's monuments and works of art. For historical research such guides from the past serve as indispensable resources. Not only do they document the changing shape of prominent towns but they also allow insights into specific categories of judgment and taste through their descriptions of certain works of art and architecture. In this respect, Cinquecento Florence played a central role in Giorgio Vasari's establishment of the new genre of art literature and artist biography. The first part of the project concentrates on the digitization and transcription of the relevant guides that span the period from circa 1600 to 1800, the majority of which are covered by the institute's own holdings. Additional material will be placed at the project’s disposal by cooperating libraries and archives, chiefly in Florence. The collection will be completed gradually with sources of similar content, such as inventories and manuscripts. In addition, a wide-ranging network linking the texts with images and secondary information is in preparation.
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