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Anthony C. DeBellis Collection of Humanistic Literature


DeBellis, Anthony C.


Anthony C. DeBellis Collection of Humanistic Literature


Biographical Sketch

Anthony C. DeBellis taught Italian language and literature at the University of Missouri from 1966 to 1981. Most of his rare books were acquired from dealers in Europe, particularly during several long assignments to Italy as an American army officer before he began his career at Missouri.

Scope and Contents

The DeBellis Collection brings together the works of poets, dramatists, historians, theologians, and philosophers in editions of their times, or in somewhat later reprints. The majority of holdings date from the sixteenth and seventeenth century. The most important subject area, reflecting the core of the collector's interests, is Italian Renaissance literature. Editions of classical authors, Renaissance political writings and church histories, and works of theology are also present. Printers represented include Valgrisi, Elsevir, Aldus Manutius, Gryphus, and Giunta. Many of the books are adorned with ornamental title pages or frontispieces.


Raffaelina DeBellis, the widow of Anthony DeBellis, offered the collection for sale to the Libraries in 1983. The Friends of the Libraries raised funds to purchase the collection in 1984.


Special Collections materials are open to all users, but they do not circulate. Books must be used in Special Collections’ reading room during service hours or by appointment.

All titles are cataloged and available through the University’s online catalog. The collection can be searched through the heading Anthony C. DeBellis Collection of Humanistic Literature (University of Missouri--Columbia. Libraries).