The "Umberto Rizzitano Collection" at the Regional Library of Palermo

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Umberto Rizzitano was one of the most important Italian Orientalists. Born in Alexandria of Egypt in 1913 into a Sicilian family, he studied Arabic language and literature at the Oriental School of Rome under the supervision of Giorgio Levi della Vida, Michelangelo Guidi and Carlo Alfonso Nallino. He directed the Italian Institute of Culture in Cairo and the Istituto per l’Oriente in Rome. Revivifier of the glorious past of Arabic studies in Palermo after the death of the eminent and well-known orientalist Michele Amari, Umberto Rizzitano taught Arabic Language and Literature at the University of Palermo.Among his most important works we remember his Italian translations of the novel Zaynab by Muhammad Husayn Haykal (1944); One thousand and one nights (1949) and Taha Hussein’s masterpiece Al-ayyam (1965). Between 1975 and 1979 he participated in the first mondial edition of the manuscript of the geographical work by Idrisi.After his death in 1980, his personal library was transferred to the Regional Library of Palermo without ever being catalogued. Only few years ago, after more than 30 years, I was asked to catalogue the forgotten Rizzitano fund. It is constituted by more than 2000 texts, including books, manuscripts, lithographies and journals both in Arabic and European languages.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Numero di pagine14
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2016


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