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Frank V. de Bellis Collection

Location: Library 460.


de Bellis Collection

The Frank V. de Bellis Collection is a library-museum of Italian authors and subjects representing the civilization of ancient to modern Italy, particularly in the areas of history, literature, the fine arts and music.

As a library, the Collection contains manuscripts, incunables (books printed before 1501), rare books, circulating books, periodicals, and music manuscripts and scores.

As a museum, the Collection contains Etruscan, Greek and Roman artifacts and coins, period instruments, wax cylinders, archival recordings, wood blocks, prints, and contemporary artwork.

Services Provided

  • Research assistance in Italian and English
  • Collection viewing, in-house or through microfilm and photocopying only
  • Indices and bibliographies, such as those for: folio editions, incunable leaves, Italian literature in pre-1800 editions, microfilms, manuscript music, collected vocal music in pre-1820 editions, orchestra scores and parts, prints and drawings, and coins.
  • Borrowing items in the modern editions circulating collection

Collection Information

Archival & Manuscript Artifacts Artwork
Audio & Visual Materials
  • Long Playing Records & Compact Discs
  • Music of the Italian Masters Tape Collection
  • Slide Collection
  • Microfilms, Photographs, Postcards
Printed Materials
  • Rare Books
  • Circulating Books
  • Rare Music Scores (incl. Opera and librettos) Not yet available on-line
  • Circulating Music Scores (incl. Opera)
  • Periodicals

About Frank V. de Bellis

Frank V. de Bellis, a long-time resident of San Francisco until his death in 1968, was born in the Apulia region of Italy. He was a business person who devoted most of the last 25 years of his life to philanthropic and educational projects with the purpose of informing and instructing others in the rich heritage of Italy. His radio program "Music of the Italian Masters" and his lectures were part of this effort, as was his sponsorship of free concerts and lectures by eminent Italian chamber ensembles, singers, and scholars.

Mr. de Bellis gathered three important collections of Italian materials: 200 incunables (volumes printed in the 15th century), presented to Southern Methodist University in Dallas in 1961; a collection of 357 archaeological artifacts from Roman and pre-Roman Italy, donated to San Francisco State in 1960; and a large collection of books, manuscripts, music, and recordings donated to the California State University system in 1962 (accepted 1963), permanently located in the J. Paul Leonard Library at San Francisco State University.

Mailing Address

The Frank V. de Bellis Collection,
San Francisco State University, J. Paul Leonard Library,
1630 Holloway Avenue, San Francisco, California, 94132

SF State Home
J. Paul Leonard Library, 1600 Holloway Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94132 - 415.338.1854 -
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