Digital Serlio Project

Serlio manuscript detail

The Digital Serlio Project at Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library will digitize Avery’s unparalleled holdings of the published works of Sebastiano Serlio (1474–1554) along with the unpublished manuscript, On Domestic Architecture (Tutte l'opere d'architettura, Libro VI), also held in Avery's collection. The digitized texts will be made available here on Avery’s website and through the Columbia University Libraries online catalog, the Internet Archive, the HathiTrust, and the Getty Research Portal.

A sixteenth-century Italian architect and theoretician, Serlio was influential in standardizing the classical orders as the author of the first illustrated treatise on ancient Roman architecture. Appointed supervisor of royal buildings by the French King François I, he worked on the palace of Fontainebleau and built the chateau at Ancy-le-Franc for Antoine III der Clermont, one of the king’s courtiers.

Our international team of scholars, students and staff will work collaboratively to conduct textual and visual analysis using high-resolution images of Serlio's On Domestic Architecture manuscript which was intended as the sixth of his seven volumes on architecture. The Digital Serlio Project team will implement the Getty Scholars' Workspace™ for some aspects of our work. The Workspace provides an online platform for our scholars to leverage innovative digital tools to advance research and inspire scholarship on this singularly important and foundational masterwork of architectural history.

The Digital Serlio Project is a collaborative effort of scholars and staff at the Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Italian Academy (Columbia University), University of Bologna, Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP), and the Ecolé nationale des Chartes. The digital project is directed by the Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library with digital photography and project support by the Avery Digital Lab, the Columbia University Libraries Digital Programs Division and Preservation and Digital Conversion Division. Initial funding for research and scholarship is provided by a grant from the Samuel Freeman Charitable Trust.




Image credit: Detail of Plate XLVI, Sebastiano Serlio, VIII libro di Serlio : m.s. architettura, ca. 1550.