Translating the Riccardiana Library Wikipedia Page: a Student’s Venture

April Parrish, a Pennsylvania University student studying at ISI Florence this Spring 2023, has taken on an incredible adventure and experienced one of Florence’s most prestigious historical libraries, established during the 17th century.

We spoke to April who shared her impressions and feedback on her work so far.

“In collaboration with Stefano Baldassarri, the ISI Florence program director, I recently translated the Italian Wikipedia page of the Biblioteca Riccardiana into English. I took up this opportunity because I thought it would be a wonderful, engaging experience with the director of ISI Florence. I also believed that it would help enhance my understanding of a very important library here in Florence, as well as help native English speakers understand the importance of that beautiful book collection.  I am currently double majoring in Science and Italian at Penn State University. Being able to increase my Italian comprehension by reading both the Italian and English versions of the Wikipedia page helped me towards my goal of achieving fluency so that I may work as a doctor in Italy. Before being explained the task at hand, I thought it would be a challenging yet fruitful task of translating advanced Italian vocabulary into English, but thankfully I had Stefano to do it! I was able to help out primarily by making it seem more natural for an English speaker to read and understand the history of the library and its works. I was not expecting to have the wonderful opportunity of not only having a small tour within the Biblioteca Riccardiana, but as well as meeting the director of the library, Francesca Gallori. I saw amazing frescoes, illuminated facsimiles (reproductions of historical books that can still be highly valued), and a hidden passageway. I am delighted that I had the opportunity to make connections with ISI Florence staff members and was able to be a part of this academic experience.”