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CPL to Partner with the Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa

An English language portal on the Italian Jewish Press

New York, NY,  April 17, 2016 – Centro Primo Levi New York with the support of the Cahnman Foundation announces its partnership with the Scuola superiore Normale di Pisa for one fellowship position to develop an online resource on the 19th and 20th century Italian Jewish Press.

The project aims at creating a comprehensive catalogue of the Jewish journals, newspaper and magazines published in Italy during the 19th century and the first decade of 20th century, specifically between 1821 –the year of the first publication of a Jewish journal in Venice “Il Foglio Israelita”- and 1914.

It will provide Italian and international scholars with a precious research tool and an unprecedented lens on the Italian and Jewish society.

Jewish Press consultation tools have been developed in several countries. In Israel the University of Tel Aviv developed a database of historical Jewish Press from the Mediterranean Countries; In Germany, the Universitätsbibliothek of Frankfurt on Main enabled the creation of the «Jüdische Periodika im deutschsprachigen Raum», an overall catalogue of the German Jewish Press between 1806 and 1938. In the US, the Pittsburgh Jewish Newspaper Project and the JDC Archive began to offer overviews of some of the American Jewish publications of the same period.

In Italy, several libraries including the Central Library of the Italian Jewish Communities, the Center for Contemporary Jewish Documentation in Milan, the Venice Jewish Library Renato Maestro and the Central State Archives addressed aspects o the indexing and preservation of the trove of Italian Jewish press produced between the unification of Italy and the present.

These important initiatives, often remain within the reach of a limited Italian-speaking scholarly circle, with specific expertise on some of the publications.

As larger indexing projects, including that of the 85-year old “Rassegna Mensile di Israel” – came to fruition through non profit platform for digital humanities Jstor, the need for a solid orientation and cross-referencing tool in English became evident.

In undertaking this collaboration, Centro Primo Levi and the Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa sought to enrich existing digitization efforts with a multifaceted access tool, that will foster awareness of the Italian Jewish press and facilitate international fruition of the Italian archives.

The institutions hope to establish a cooperative model based on matching grants that can support specific project in Italian Jewish studies as well as emerging scholars working on primary sources.

The selected fellow will work for one year and produce an online English language resource, including the publications’ database, photographs, editors’ profiles, iconography, advertising and documentation relevant to the study of history as well as of social trends, the relation between minority and society, audiences and other element of scholarly and general interest.

The Scuola Normale of Pisa was founded in 1810 by a Napoleonic decree which dealt with “places of public instruction” in Tuscany, a province of the French empire since 1807. The institution passed through various incarnations between the Napoleonic era and the Fascist Regime, always actively reflecting political and social changes. The Scuola Normale Superiore is today an elite school with an egalitarian basis that awards merit, talent and the potentialities of its students independently from their social origins and their previous studies.The aim of the Scuola is the formation of scholars, professionals and citizens with a wide cultural background, international perspective and a critical attitude.

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