March 11, 2004 Medici Archive Project is Subject of April 8 Lecture at the Library

Press Contact: Audrey Fischer (202) 707-0022
Public Contact: Peggy Pearlstein (202) 707-3779

Edward Goldberg, founder and senior scholar of the Medici Archive Project in Florence, Italy, and Ippolita Morgese, vice president of the project, will speak about the Medici Granducal Archive at 12 p.m. on Thursday, April 8, at the Library of Congress in Room 139 of the James Madison Building, 101 Independence Avenue S.E., Washington, D.C. Sponsored jointly by the Hebraic Section of the Library's African and Middle Eastern Division and the European Division, the event is free and open to the public. Tickets are not required.

The Medici family, grand dukes and duchesses of Tuscany from 1537 to 1743, presided over the most brilliant court in Europe. Under their patronage, Florence became a magnet for artists, musicians, scientists and writers.

Established by Grand Duke Cosimo I in 1569, the archive of the Medici Grand Dukes offers the most complete record of any princely regime in Renaissance and Baroque Europe. The three million letters contained in more than 6,000 volumes richly document 200 years of human history.

The goal of the Medici Archive Project is to provide worldwide public access to the historical data in the archive through a fully searchable database at Test sites will be set up within the next few years. The project is also training emerging scholars in the values and methods of archival research, encouraging publication of documentary material and developing technological solutions for information management in the humanities.

The project has launched three publishing initiatives in the area of Jewish history, religion and culture. These include a scholarly edition of all letters in the granducal correspondence that are relevant to Jewish affairs, a critical edition of the working papers of the granducal commission that instituted the first Florentine ghetto in 1570-71, and an illustrated popular history of the early years of the Florentine ghetto as described in surviving documents.

Edward Goldberg received a Ph.D. in modern history from Oxford University in 1979 and taught in the Department of Fine Arts at Harvard University from 1981 through 1987. He has published widely in the course of his 30 years of archival research in Florence. Goldberg has been associated with the Medici Archive Project since 1995. He is responsible for all aspects of the project's scholarly activity.

Ippolita Morgese completed a degree in letters at the University of Florence in 1987 and a degree in musical paleography in 1992 at the Pontificio Istituto di Musica Sacra in Rome. In 1995, she completed a postdoctoral Diploma di Archivistica, Paleografia e Diplomatica at the Florentine State Archive, focusing on Florentine institutional history. Morgese recently prepared the critical edition of Magistrato Supremo 4449 and 4450 in the Florentine National Archive, which will be published by the Medici Archive Project under the title "The Origin of the Florentine Ghetto."


PR 04-051
ISSN 0731-3527