Italian History in the Institute of Historical Research Library

About the Italian collection

The IHR's Italian collection holds over 3500 volumes which cover early medieval Italian history to the present. While the collection's main focus is on primary sources, there are also many supplementary guides, bibliographies, reference works and periodicals. The IHR also has a good collection of archival guides for Italy, ranging from the State Archives to the archives of little-known villages and monasteries.

There is an extensive set of the Fonti Italiani and other collections of sources. There are strong holdings for regional material covering the city-states and kingdoms of Italy, as well as chronologically organized material for Italy as a whole. The collection’s particular strengths lie in Venetian, Tuscan, and Roman history.


Organisation of the main Italian Collection

Early Printed works

Our Italian collection includes most of the Raccolta di tutti i più rinomati scrittori dell' istoria generale del regno di Napoli (volumes 1-14, 17-21) and the only UK-held copy of the Kingdom of Sardinia’s Editto di S.M. riguardante alcune dichiarazioni : sopra le generali costituzioni, e contenente la tariffa degli emolumenti, e dritti dovuti all'erario regio ed agli uffiziali di stato, di giustizia, del fisco, ed altri. Other examples include:

EI.0: Archives, Bibliographies & Auxiliary Sciences 


The collection has particularly strong holdings on local and national archival guides throughout the peninsula. Examples include:

EI.1: Reference Works, General Works & Works in Series

The collection has a large number of reference works, encyclopedias, dictionaries, and biographical dictionaries on open access. Periodicals are available on closed access. 

Examples from this section include:

EI.2: Italian History in General to c.1494

The collection has strong holdings of Medieval Italian History (to c. 1494), including the full run of the Fonti Per La Storia D'Italia (classmark EI.23). 

Examples include:

EI.3-6: General History Works


  • EI.3: Italian History 1494 to present
  • EI.4: 1494–1796
  • EI.5: 1796–1870
  • EI.6: Since 1870

Examples include:

EI.7: Northern Italy

Examples include:

EI.8: Central Italy

Examples include:

EI.9: Southern Italy & Sicily

Examples include:


Related IHR Collections


Military collection, particularly accounts from WWI and WWII


A small amount of material in the Colonial and Crusades collections

Diplomatic history in the International Relations collection, such as I documenti diplomatici italiani.

Religious history (classmark ER), such as works on the monastic orders and papal records.

General collection


Includes for example atlases, biographical dictionaries, reference works and histories of European universities.

There are also strong holdings on European travel writing in the British, general and European collections. See the travel writing guide.


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