IDEA: Isabella d’Este Archive is an exercise in imagination, discovery, and critical engagement: an instrument for scholars, students, and generally curious visitors. Taking as our inspiration and focus one of the most influential figures of the Italian Renaissance, Isabella d’Este (1474-1539), IDEA offers users around the world new ways to explore the history and culture of early modern Italy. IDEA’s primary materials are Isabella’s letters, music, and art collections, as they evolved during her reign as the marchesa of Mantua. These resources map a world where politics, art, music, family life, business, and social relations intertwined, prior to the modern separation of many of these concerns into separate spheres.
IDEA extends beyond the critical functions of collections preservation and access to emphasize:
Conceiving of knowledge as a fluid science, IDEA seeks to inspire new scholarship and new critical pathways in an ever-changing world of learning.
Linking researchers with historical materials, a primary goal of IDEA is to bridge geographical distances and economic barriers to research.
Employing powerful search engines, our aim is for IDEA to enable users to cross-reference data across written, visual, and sounding media.
Providing meeting space for collaboration and creation, IDEA promotes broad changes in the traditionally solitary nature of scholarly study, as well as innovative technologies for working with manuscript sources, the rehearsal and performance of music, and for understanding the visual arts.
Utilizing both virtual simulation and augmented reality, our goal with IDEA is to provide users with rich experiences of historical spaces, objects, and media in an effort to overcome the imaginative distance that separates us from each other and from evidence of the historical past.