Digital Princess

Sarah Cockram
University of Edinburgh

Roberta Piccinelli
Not Applicable
Medici Archive Project

Deanna Shemek
UC Santa Cruz


Lisa Boutin-Vitela
Art History
Cerritos College

Daniela Ferrari
Not Applicable
Archivio di Stato, Mantua

Carolyn James
Italian Studies
Monash University

Anne MacNeil
UNC - Chapel Hill

Lorenzo Pasquinelli
Not Applicable
Medici Archive Project

Valerie Taylor
Art History
Pasadena City College

Digital Isabella d’Este aimed to create an open-access, online resource for study of the voluminous correspondence of Renaissance Italy’s most consummate female social networker, Isabella d’Este (1474-1539), marchesa of Mantua. A collaboration between the Institute for Humanities Research (IHR) at the University of California, Santa Cruz and the State Archives of Mantua, Italy (ASMn), Digital Isabella provided a significant research and teaching tool for a comprehensive array of Renaissance studies: art history, literature, music, theater, and politics, but also of the histories of women, families, fashion, health, diet, justice, and of course, communication itself. The first phase of the project, the digitization of nearly 16,000 extant letters to and from d’Este, got underway with support of a grant from the Italian Ministry of Culture. The Digital Princess residential research group enabled Deanna Shemek and her two co-PIs, both leading international scholars and key contributors to the project, along with a small group of international scholars, to begin collaborating on next phase of the project: the creation of a digital visualization of her social network and the construction a virtual studiolo based on that of Isabella d’Este.