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Università degli Studi di Padova

PHAIDRA – Digital collections



Electronic Library of Linguistics and Philology

The BELF project (Biblioteca Elettronica di Linguistica e Filologia, or “Electronic Library of Linguistics and Philology”) was created to provide public access to a body of material that shares a common theme: the documentation of Italy’s rich panorama of dialects and early manifestations of the Italian language through texts, objects and philological studies. For the most part, the collection includes digitised versions of key studies in the field, a number of which are far from recent, and many of which are difficult to find.
The University of Padova is committed to preserving such works and, in doing so, to enabling scholars and interested members of the public to expand their historic-linguistic knowledge without missing out on these academically priceless sources. For this reason, the collection also includes almost all of the material relating to toponymy, onomastics and the naming of plants from the dialectology collections of the Department of Linguistic and Literary Studies, and items from the legacy of the late Prof. G B Pellegrini. The result is a collection of enormous value, and quite unlike anything else in the field: a precious historical-cultural record of local cultures, and an invaluable resource for researchers of all kinds. Indeed, the digitised material in this collection is not intended purely for academic researchers who specialise in linguistics, but also for scholars and enthusiasts of various disciplines, from linguistics and dialectology to literature, local culture, ethnography, history, botany, geography and much more besides.

By way of example, the “BELF” Library contains:

  • grammars, dictionaries and wordbooks of various dialectal variations and minority languages such as Ladin
  • texts in ancient dialects, and collections of texts from different eras (Middle Ages, the Modern Era, 20th-century)
  • philological and linguistics studies on ancient texts and works in Tuscan and other dialectal variants
  • onomastics materials: dictionaries and studies of names, place names and plant names in various dialectal contexts
  • text books and in-depth studies in historical linguistics

Plus, it offers insights into the material culture relating to this field of research.

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