Keywords: history of Italian linguistics; Enciclopedia Treccani.
This paper reconstructs Alfredo Trombetti’s collaboration on the first edition of the Enciclopedia Italiana (1929-1937) by considering his correspondence with Giulio Bertoni, director of the linguistics department, and Giovanni Gentile, scientific director of the entire publication. The letters to Bertoni clarify the role played by Trombetti in the initial phase of the work (1925-1926) and in particular his contribution to the drafting of the list of linguistic headwords and collaborators. The letters to Gentile show that in the following years (until his death
in 1929) he remained a point of reference within the department: in addition to writing several entries, he analysed the ethnography headword lists and supplemented them with linguistic paragraphs. He also tried to initiate a cartographic project for the linguistics department, which ultimately did not come to fruition.