There have already been countless victims of this recession and, of course, the human cost is the aspect that quite rightly ought to (and does) attract most attention. But as the ripples spread wider, the squeeze is starting to be felt in cultural terms as well.
The latest potential victim is the Italian Dictionary of National Biography. This ambitious project was started in 1960 and plans to include 105 volumes containing approximately 40,000 entries. The last volume, 72-73, brought the project up to the letter M. At long last, too, the DBI had really started to make progress, publishing two volumes a year instead of just one.
For anyone working in Italian studies – whether historical, literary or any other field – the DBI is a fantastic tool. All the more so because it recently went online here.
So the recent news that the whole project may now be in jeopardy is extremely worrying.
If you happen to work in the field and feel strongly about this decision, PLEASE sign the petition to save the Dizionario which is currently being circulated around the various online groups!
You can send an email to this address, giving your full name, city and the university or field you work in.