Proposal for a new methodological approach to the study of 20th century Bibliography


  • Carlo Bianchini University of Pavia
  • Fiammetta Sabba Università di Bologna
  • Lucia Sardo University of Bologna



Bibliography, Library Science, Metadata, History of Bibliography


The constant technological revolution that we have been witnessing for decades has affected all forms of communication and, consequently, has also involved the ‘recorded communication’ that pertains to bibliographic thought and action. Since the end of the nineteenth century and especially since the first decades of the twentieth century, this has led to a process of change in the structure of all scientific disciplines, including Bibliography. This process has had two fundamental consequences for bibliography: on the one hand, it has meant that bibliography as a meta-discipline is endowed with new instruments of investigation; on the other, it changed the disciplinary scope of bibliography itself, to the point where it has found itself specialised in a number of other derived disciplines. The need to clarify what happened is particularly felt in Italy, where even in the last century the documentary and bibliographical disciplines had an important development and debate, but it is also widely felt in the rest of the European context and beyond, as demonstrated by recent occasions of international scientific and conference comparison and as highlighted by some of the recent Italian studies of Bibliography and Information Sciences. In this contribution we discuss a methodological hypothesis to investigate the problem. In particular, it is argued that the solution to the problem is to be searched in a new methodological approach that includes both a qualitative survey of the main sources of the discipline in the Italian context – i.e., the traditional survey method of Bibliography – and a quantitative investigation necessarily conducted with the decisive help of the application of Linked Data technology to the most recent production of the discipline. The twofold approach would allow to give a concrete start to this disciplinary arrangement, reconstructing the most recent process of metamorphosis, identifying the junctions and the forms (methodologies, tools, and objectives) both in diachronic and synchronic terms.


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How to Cite

Bianchini, C., Sabba, F., & Sardo, L. (2021). Proposal for a new methodological approach to the study of 20th century Bibliography. Bibliothecae.It, 10(2), 138–151.