Mapping Rome

This project seeks to publish and interpret all of the printed maps of Rome made since the arrival of the printing press in the city in 1467 until the Reunification of Italy.  No other city in the world can claim to be documented by such a rich series of maps.  Named for Amato Pietro Frutaz, who published his Le piante di Roma, in three large folio volumes in 1962.   In it, Frutaz published 267 maps of the city, cataloguing and analyzing each one.  While interest in cartography in general and Roman maps in particular has grown enormously in the last few decades, Frutaz’s volumes remain the only scholarly publication that attempt to bring together all of the maps of the city.  It continues to serve as a fundamental source for art historians, archeologists, historians, geographers, and other scholars from diverse fields. 

There are two goals of this project. The first is to make these maps, which are spread among libraries and archives across the world, available to scholars and students. The second is to interpret this rich horde of cartographic images.

This project is a partnership among the Apostolic Vatican Library, the Centro Studi sull’Immagine e la Cultura di Roma, a research institute at the Sapienza University in Rome, and the RGG. It grows out of the memorandum of understanding signed between ND and the Apostolic Vatican Library in 2016 to foster research initiatives.

An international steering committee that includes professors from Harvard, Emory, University of Michigan, Princeton, and Notre Dame, as well as several European universities, guides the Project. A post-doctoral fellow is researching and cataloguing the maps.

  • 1969 The Rome Studies Program is established by architect Frank Montana
  • 2007 The Hesburgh Library began cataloging the library collection as part of the University architecture library
  • 2010 Notre Dame purchases a building on Via Ostilia and begins renovations
  • 2017 Students move into the Villa on the Celio, a new student residence owned by Notre Dame
  • 2019 Architecture alumni and friends will gather in Rome to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Rome Studies Program
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