Major Italian history donation

Two renowned historians of 20th Century Italian history, Profs. Judith and Stephen Hellman, have donated a significant collection of books, pamphlets and periodicals to the University of Glasgow. With these additions, the University of Glasgow Library houses the largest collection of 20th-century Italian history in the UK outside London. The collection will benefit scholars, postgraduates and students from the Glasgow area and further afield in the UK. Thanks to local expertise and these resources, the University of Glasgow is a leading institution for Italian Studies and 20th-century European history.

History of the communist party

The collection is clustered around two themes: history of the communist party (Partito comunista italiano, PCI), and women’s history. As the PCI was the largest out-of-government communist party in Europe during the Cold War, the material sheds light not only on the party’s history but more widely on global communism and Marxist debate. The material includes writing by party leaders such as Palmiro Togliatti, its major periodicals, and studies of Italian society and economy, including reports on major industrial disputes. The material is in English and Italian.

Women's history

The women’s history section includes fictional writing by Italian’s most renowned 20th-century authors such as Sibilla Aleramo, periodicals and pamphlets produced by feminist groups and women’s organisations, writing on feminist theory and women’s history. The material is in English and Italian, and will be of interest to those working on gender history and feminism .
The material is being catalogued and will be available in the spring of 2014. A (rough) inventory can be found on the University Library Blog.


A workshop is scheduled for May 2104 at the University of Glasgow. Stephen and Judith Hellman will be present at the workshop to discuss the collection, and speakers from Scottish and North English universities will present the wealth of current research on modern Italian history and culture, and on the Italo-Scottish community.

For more information, please contact Dr Maud Anne Bracke, School of Humanities (History),

Dr Bracke would like to thank the History Subject, the School of Modern Languages and Cultures, and Clare Paterson, History subject librarian.

First published: 12 December 2013

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