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Italian Studies

An overview of resources for research in Italian Studies, medieval to contemporary.

Search BobCat

Search for books, journals, videos, etc. in our local libraries and special collections.

Tips for Searching in Bobcat

The Library Catalog

Use the library's online catalog (BobCat) to find books and journals in NYU's Bobst Library, other NYU libraries, as well as the libraries of the New School and Cooper Union.

Common Search Terms

If you are looking for:

  • Biographical information, then use the search term "biography"
  • Bibliographical information, then use the search term "bibliography"
  • A dictionary, then use the search term "dictionary"
  • A catalog, then use the search term "catalogs"
  • A journal, then use the search term "periodicals"
  • Theater/play information, then use the search term "drama"
  • Critical or secondary material about a work, then use the search term "criticism"
  • Archival or Manuscript information, then use the search term "manuscripts"

Combining Search Terms

You can combine search terms to narrow your results to a specific topic. For example:

  • To find a biography of Natalia Ginzburg, use the subject terms "natalia ginzburg" and "biography".
  • To find criticism on Eugenio Montale's writing, use the subject terms "montales" and "criticism".
  • To find a dictionary of Sardinian, use the subject terms "sardinian" and "dictionaries".

Other tips

  1. After searching using keywords that feel natural and intuitive, once you have found one or more items in BobCat that seem to fit the subject or subjects you are interested in, be sure to click on the title to view the complete record for each item. Scroll down to the "Details" section of the complete record to find the various subjects assigned to that item by the cataloger.
  2. NYU Libraries uses Library of Congress Subject Headings (as well as others). These are standardized terms that are not necessarily intuitive for users unfamiliar with the Library of Congress's conventions. Many sound arbitrary or frankly outdated. For instance, works on Cultural Studies may have been assigned subjects like "Italy -- Civilization," a term that is now often contentious among scholars. Nevertheless, it can be very useful to note this conventional subject vocabulary for more precise searches.
  3. In addition, if you click on the hyperlinks for the subjects listed in the complete record, BobCat executes a new search that will bring up all items that have been assigned that subject, offering an efficient way to track down more materials that are relevant to your initial query. (Note also that you can find a list of subjects in the "Tweak my results" filters on the left-hand side of your initial search results. This list can be quite long, however, as it will include every subject heading that appears in the records for each item in your entire list of results.)

For more information about navigating Library of Congress Subject Headings, this research guide for US History provides a more detailed explanation of some of that system's idiosyncrasies.

Electronic Books

Ebook Databases

Other Ebook Resources

  • Google Books: Google's online service offering access to books and magazines that Google has scanned, converted to searchable text, and stored in its digital database. Titles in the public domain can be viewed in their entirety, as can many titles still under copyright. Other titles under copyright cannot be viewed but can be searched.
  • Firenze University Press Open Access (Books): Access to academic monographs in a variety of disciplines, reflecting research conducted at the Università degli Studi di Firenze and by the wider scholarly community. (The FUP site also includes Open Access journals.)
  • Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB): A service that provides access to academic monographs from a large range of publishers from Europe as well as publishers from other parts of the world, including North America. The DOAB is a collaboration between two major Open Access platforms in Europe, OAPEN (Open Access Publishing in European Networks) and OpenEdition, along with the Centre national de la recherche scientifique(CNRS) in France and Aix-Marseille Université.

Books Beyond NYU

  • E-Z Borrow: E-Z Borrow is a service that allows NYU users to search the combined catalogs of more than 50 research and academic libraries to request books not available at NYU. This is the fastest way to get a book not in NYU's collections. Books typically arrive in 3 to 5 days. NOTE: Due to the ongoing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, such a quick turnaround cannot be guaranteed. 
  • Interlibrary Loan (ILL): For obtaining books not available at NYU or in one of the E-Z Borrow consortium libraries, users should request an Interlibrary Loan. Requests can be made directly from item records in BobCat or by filling out the electronic form linked to on the ILL information page or in users' individual library account page. Note that ILL will usually take significantly longer than E-Z Borrow to fulfill requests, particularly for unusual or hard-to-locate items.
    To facilitate the work of the ILL department, we recommend that you provide the OCLC number for the item you are interested in, if you can locate it in WorldCat. (Instructions for how to find the OCLC number for an item can be found on the electronic ILL form.)
  • WorldCat.org: This is the free version of this union catalog of US and international libraries. It is user-friendly but does not provide as many search options as the subscription interface.
  • WorldCat - First Search (OCLC): For advanced library users, this WorldCat interface is less intuitive than the free version, but it offers the possibility of more complex searching and more detailed information about the holdings at institutions for each item.