CENTRO SCUOLA E CULTURA ITALIANA
DANTE ALIGHIERI - TORONTO
A. Di Giovanni Library
The Alberto Di Giovanni Library is located on the second floor of the Columbus Centre, adjacent to the Joseph D. Carrier Art Gallery. Bookshelves line the walls, holding hundreds of titles that include works of Italian literature, Italian Canadian writers, history and sociology texts with particular emphasis on immigration studies. Several sets of encyclopediae are available for reference. A children’s section has books in Italian and in English. The arts collection includes fine art books from the Renaissance Masters to contemporary artists. There are monographs on Italian crafts such as ceramics, scagliola, and Venetian glass. The music section contains biographies of composers as well as opera libretti. There is also an extensive selection of books on Italian cinema.
Rare facsimile copies of the notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci can be studied in the Sala Leonardo section of the library, where large scale copies of Da Vinci’s paintings are displayed. A collection of rare editions of Dante’s Divine Comedy can be found in the Casa Dante room of the Carrier Gallery.
The Alberto Di Giovanni Library is not a public lending library, but the spacious reading room has tables and chairs for reading and studying.
It is open to the public Monday through Friday from 1:30 PM to 5:30 PM, or by special arrangement with Centro Scuola.
Centro Scuola promotes the development of resources that document Italian cultural contributions to the Canadian mosaic. The titles listed here are available for purchase from the Centro Scuola office.
(display the covers as in original webpage.
Add the new edition of Italian Canadian Voices 1946-2004
Delete the secondary school text book no longer available)
In addition to these books, Centro Scuola publishes the journal Scuola & Cultura.
Programs with the details of the annual Giochi della gioventu are published annually.
J.D. Carrier Art Gallery
Click the following link and you will be redirect to the
Joseph D. Carrier Art Gallery
The first Casa Dante in Canada contains a superb collection of paintings, editions, and illustrations of Dante Alighieri’s masterpiece, La Divina Commedia. This unique room was dedicated on May 7, 2006 to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Centro Scuola. The inspiration came from a visit to the Casa di Dante in Abruzzo and an encounter with the distinguished Dante schola Dott. Corrado Gizzi and his wife, Lina Gizzi. Through their generous philanthropy they established a gallery and centre for Dante studies in the heart of the Gran Sasso.
In collaboration with Dott. and Signora Gizzi, the Casa Dante located in the Columbus Centre has acquired a number of paintings by contemporary Italian artists, depicting scenes from the Inferno, the Purgatorio, and the Paradiso. The paintings employ various media such as oil, water colour, pencil drawing, and collage. Viewers are impressed by the original interpretations of Dante’s medieval, though timeless, poetic masterwork.
Also on permanent display is a significant collection of illustrations from centuries of printed editions of La Divina Commedia. With the assistance of a rare book dealer in Florence, Alberto Di Giovanni selected examples of prints by Gustave Dore, Amos Nattini, the Alinari Studio in Florence, and Salvador Dali to give the public insight into the changing styles which Dante’s great poem has inspired. The Dali prints were conceived in the classic triptych format, so the frames contain examples from the corresponding cantos of each book, as Dali himself presented them first, in 1964.
Finally, the special collection of editions of La Divina Commedia are preserved in cases in the temperature-controlled room designated for them. Here students and scholars may see a facsimile, printed in 1922, of the original manuscript. There are also editions printed in the 16th century, the 18th and 19th centuries, and modern editions including translations into other languages.
Casa Danteis located in the Joseph D. Carrier Art Gallery in the Columbus Centre. Visits to the Dante collections can be arranged by contacting Rosa Graci at the Gallery, or the office of Centro Scuola.
LEONARDO DA VINCI COLLECTION
One section of the Alberto Di Giovanni Library is dedicated to a collection of works by the Renaissance artist, genius, and inventor, Leonardo Da Vinci. The Sala Leonardo contains a collection of fine reproductions of Leonardo’s notebooks presented in boxed volumes. Each set includes copies of Da Vinci’s handwritten notes and drawings on a particular subject such as birds, or mechanical designs or the human skeleton. The tiny letters are written backwards, and must be read using a mirror. Each set also contains a printed version in modern typography. Scholarly commentary adds to the documentation.
The collection consists of : Il Codice Atlantico, facsimile published in 1974; Il Codice Hammer, facsimile published in 1987; Il Codice sul Volo degli
Uccelli; Il Codice Trivulziano; Il Manuscritto H dell’ Accademia di
Francia; Il Codice Vaticano, aka Trattato della Pittura facsimile published in 1995. For more information about this collection, link to the study by Giorgio Papini (in Italian).
The walls of this section are decorated with large reproductions of some of Leonardo Da Vinci’s famous paintings. These oil reproductions were given to the Library after an exhibit mounted in the Carrier Gallery in 1988. Visitors to this permanent exhibit will see Virgin of the Rocks (Original in the National Gallery, London); The Last Supper (fresco in the Convent of Santa Maria della Grazie, Milan); The Annunciation (Uffizi Gallery, Florence); St. Jerome (Vatican Museum, Vatican City); Mona Lisa (Louvre Museum, Paris); Madonna of the Carnation (Arte Pinakothek, Munich); Portrait of a Musician ( Pinacoteca Ambrosiana, Milan); Lady with the Ermine (Czartoryski Museum, Krakow); Portrait of a Lady (Louvre Museum, Paris); Portrait of Ginevra Benci (National Gallery, Washington, D.C.)
Alberto Di Giovanni Libraryand the Sala Leonardo is lined with display cases that contain beautiful examples of Italian cultural artifacts. There are some humble kitchen utensils, as well as elegant ceramics from all regions of Italy. Displays include Pinocchio items; Sicilian puppets; sports memorabilia; and Italian cinema posters and albums. Roman statuary and a rare Etruscan piece fill one case. Mosaics and scagliola; Venetian commedia dell’ arte masks; manuscript pages of Gregorian chant; exquisite Nativity scenes; and samples of glass from Murano can be seen in this fine museum collection. Background information can be obtained from the library staff.