The traditional image of the scholar/professor in the humanities is one of lonely study, accessing carefully selected sources during planned sessions of archival work, or reading and writing in a campus library, and of course teaching in a college classroom.
Things can be very different, though. This blog chronicles a very special activity born from contacts between the Musicology program at the Indiana University School of Music and the City of Ostiglia, in the Italian province of Mantua, with help from the Indiana University Center for the History of Music Theory and Literature. This project brings teaching and research together and embraces a collaborative modality of scholarship. The authors of this blog will sit around a table in the remarkable Greggiati Library in Ostiglia, nearby Mantua, faculty and graduate students, with the support of librarians on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. We will engage in a fresh study of thousands of manuscripts collected by Giuseppe Greggiati in the nineteenth century and take notes in a special digital catalog designed for us.
The study started with Prof. Ossi’s class in 2012 and was extremely stimulating. As emerged in a number of discussions, we were all enthusiast about the various observations on the precious material preserved, the rich encounter with the city of Ostiglia and the people who welcomed us. All these events really prompted the creation of this space, in which we hope to record the stages of this transformative experience. The blog really seems the best tool to really reflect the bottom-up nature of this project, in which everyone has a voice. I expect posts from the graduate students participating this year (and comments from last year’s veterans), but also contributions by our invaluable librarians and technicians, hosts in Ostiglia, and friends in general.