Anne Leader presents Digital Sepoltuario in Florence

December 4, 2018

Anne Leader, a Visiting Scholar at IATH, discussed her research for and the technical development of Digital Sepoltuario: The Tombs of Renaissance Florence, at Florentia Illustrata, Spatializing History and Visualizing Experience in the Renaissance City, a workshop held at the Harvard Center for Italian Renaissance Studies at the Villa I Tatti, November 29-30, 2018. The event was a collaboration by seven digital humanities projects that are commonly engaged in digital analysis of Renaissance Florence.

Digital Sepoltuario studies commemorative culture in medieval and Renaissance Florence. It provides an illustrated digital catalogue of the city’s tomb monuments, part of the the memorial landscape of the pre-modern city. Florence’s extensive commemorative culture was developed and propagated through often elaborate and beautifully decorated tombs, including personalized sepulchers to encourage prayers to ease the passage of the dead through Purgatory and to promote the family name. Unpublished tomb registries (sepoltuari) recorded thousands of tomb monuments in Florence’s churches between the mid-thirteenth and mid-seventeenth centuries. Digital Sepoltuario transcribes, translates, and analyzes the content of these often-fragile and inaccessible manuscripts and publishes them online together with photographs of the hundreds of monuments that still grace the floors, walls, and courtyards of Florence’s churches, and catalogues the many tombs that have been moved, fragmented, or destroyed. It also provides biographical, genealogical, political, and social data concerning the families and individuals responsible for commissioning tombs, as well as the many additional men and women interred in ancestral burial plots.

The workshop's goal is to coordinate institutional funding and aggregate data and technologies into a Florentia Illustrata platform. The projects are based in universities in Italy, Canada, the U.K., and the U.S., and have been collaborating informally since 2011. The other participating project teams in the workshop were:

Digital Sepoltuario is supported by a Kress Foundation Digital Resources Grant.