Research Guides




IDEA Documents users are invited to consult three main research guides:

User’s Guide | Guida Utenti

This User’s Guide is essential reading for anyone interested in studying the correspondence of Isabella d’Este through the BIA platform. It explains the powerful capacities of the platform and contains instructions for searching and navigating among IDEA’s virtual documents from the Archivio di Stato di Mantova. Also included is a helpful list of Frequently Asked Questions.

Torelli & Luzio

Torelli, Pietro, a cura di. L’Archivio Gonzaga di Mantova. Vol. 1. Mantova: Pubblicazioni della R. Accademia Virgiliana di Mantova, 1920.

Luzio, Alessandro, a cura di. L’Archivio Gonzaga di Mantova: La corrispondenza familiare, amministrativa e diplomatica dei Gonzaga. Vol 2. Mantova: Pubblicazioni della R. Accademia Virgiliana di Mantova, 1922.

Alessandro Luzio (1857-1946) and Pietro Torelli (1880-1948) served successively as Director of the Archivio di Stato di Mantova and authored two volumes mapping the archive’s organization, which are essential for conducting research on the Gonzagas. This link connects users to the comprehensive index of documents contained in their two guides, organized by Busta [box], Series, and Date. Currently IDEA’s Documents Platform includes a total of 28,744 letters, from the following archival locations:
-Original letters of Isabella d’Este to other members of her family from 1490 to 1496 (Series F.II.6, Buste 2106-2111). The uploading of remaining original letters is underway.
-Letters to Isabella from various sources from 1504 to 1522 (Series E.LXI.1, Buste 1890-1902). Letters addressed to Isabella before 1504 and after 1522, which are interleaved in various series of correspondence in the Archivio Gonzaga, will be uploaded when funding and time permit.
– Copybooks (Copialettere) of Isabella’s outgoing correspondence from 1490 to 1539 (Series F.II.9, Buste 2991-3000, Copybooks 1-53, designated in the Platform menu as “inserts” 1-53; Busta 2904, Copybook 136, designated in the Platform as “insert” 136). Other letters of Isabella that are present in Copialettere ordinari 176, 206, 209-211, 282, 311; and in Copialettere riservati 13 and 14 will be uploaded when funding and time permit.
Readers should note that valuable accompanying essays offered in Torelli and Luzio are not included in this online index, which features only the lists of Buste. The Torelli and Luzio guides are available only in Italian.

Criteria for Transcriptions / Criteri di trascrizione

This guide is a style sheet for researchers who are preparing transcriptions of documents for insertion into IDEA’s BIA platform. It explains how to expand abbreviations, how to write personal titles and honorifics, rules for capitalization and other details meant to render consistent the transcription of documents in IDEA. The Criteria may also be useful for readers of transcriptions who wish to understand the relation between the image of the manuscript and the text as transcribed.