About the Project

Leggi in italiano

Florida State University Libraries presents the digitization of Italian newspaper Il secolo, published by the Milanese firm Stabilimento Sonzogno. The current sample consists of the first three years of the paper (1866 and 1867), two years from the 1870s (1875 and 1876) to which we will soon add more years (during 2018 and 2019).

You can also still access the very first sample that we made available in 2016: this is a nine month run of Il secolo, from January to September of 1885. The digitized scans of this selection are of lower quality than the new selection, but each issue was tagged to detail its Front Page Titles and the Novel published in installments in it.

1885 was chosen as the sample year for the first phase of the project because it represents Stabilimento Sonzogno’s most productive years. Historically, 1885 is also a year rich in events in Italy and the whole of Europe.

1885 is also the year that was originally chosen for a separate digital project, “Sonzogno Digital Catalog – Sample 1885,” completed in 2013. Although independently executed and managed, both projects aim to provide research tools on Sonzogno’s editorial production. As a double resource, they now provide a comprehensive overview of Sonzogno’s book and periodical production of the for 1885, and a new primary source for scholars and readers interested in deepening their knowledge of the political, economic, and cultural life of Italy in the 19th century.

Both projects are directed by Silvia Valisa.


  • Silvia Valisa, Associate Professor of Italian Studies, FSU. Founder and director of the Sonzogno project.
  • Micah Vandegrift, Digital Scholarship Coordinator
  • Sarah Stanley, Digital Humanities Librarian
  • Krystal Thomas, Digital Archivist
  • Matthew Miguez, Metadata Librarian

We also wish to thank our Research Assistants, Meghan Crawford and Jessica Garten, who helped with the metadata management and review.


The digitization is based on microfilms made available to FSU by the Biblioteca Nazionale Braidense. We wish to thank the staff of the Biblioteca, in particular Dott.ssa Tiziana Mazzali and Roberto Grollo, for allowing us to access and use the Library’s microfilm as the basis for our digitization project.

Future Directions

At the current state of the project, the quality of the images is not good enough to allow for OCR. The second phase of the project includes the purchase of better quality images that will allow the readers to search directly within each newspaper page.