Carla Frova Stefania Zucchini

Onomasticon: a database for the history of the University of Perugia

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In the first section, Carla Frova recounts the development of the project and the stages through which the first version of the Onomasticon database was created. This was presented for the first time, and put online, in 2008, on occasion of the 7th centenary of the foundation of the Studium Perusinum. In the historiography relating to Perugia, events surrounding the city's university are of major significance. In the wake of interest developing from the University's history, the Onomasticon project presents itself as a useful tool with which to build biographies of both professors and students as well as a history of the Studium, and in particular of the teaching of the various disciplines. Compared to past research, the project's originality lies not only in its use of information technology but in the possibility of employing a notable quantity of new data. The data have been made available as a result of the intense work performed over the last ten years to publish sources, and is still ongoing. The first version of the database focused greater attention on biographies of professors rather than students, and the timespan was limited to the 14th and 15th century. The second version, presented in the section by Stefania Zucchini, is the result of a radical revision of the first. This began in 2016 and today is nearing completion. The second version saw the research widen its scope in particular to meet the need to include student biographies in the most suitable way possible, and to extend the project's historical time period to cover at least the early modern period. Attention to bibliography remains unchanged, bibliography being one of the characteristics of the database of the first version. In its updated version, the database provides the user with a greater number and range of search tools, and new means to elaborate the data, in particular in the form of graphics and geographical maps. These innovations facilitate understanding of phenomena of great historical importance, such as that of the peregrinatio academica. From this viewpoint, Onomasticon is seen as a tool that valorizes the collaboration between research groups operating in different European universities, in particular those linked in since 2012 to the international network "Héloïse - European Network on Digital Academic History".


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