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Libretti of the Music History Department of the German Historical Institute in Rome

A particularly precious part of the holdings of the Music History Department of the German Historical Institute in Rome is a collection of 1.500 historical libretto prints. Three quarters of them come from the estate of Remo Giazotto (1910-1998) whose libretti collection the DHI Rome could acquire in 1979 with the help of the German Research Foundation (DFG) from special funds of the Donors' Association for German Science. Beginning with L’Andromeda by Francesco Manelli from 1637, it documents the early days of opera in Venice since the opening of the first public opera houses up to the year 1734. Further libretti rari of the 'Roman music department' hand down opera performances from the 17th century to the early 20th century, inter alia in Milan, Naples and Rome. Text books on festive performances in Italy of the 17th and 18th century are also an important part of the collection. Especially in this numerically rather small group with a little over 200 prints of oratorio texts and about 50 cantata libretti, the proportion of unique pieces is relatively high. These historical libretti collections have been digitised within the scope of a collaborative project of the German Historical Institute in Rome and the Bavarian State Library, funded by the German Research Foundation. The digital versions are available via the Libretto-Portal.

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