Zanichelli Publishing House was founded in 1859 by the Modena bookseller Nicola Zanichelli. Besides being the publisher of Carducci and Pascoli and a significant portion of turn of the century literature from Bologna, Zanichelli has also made a contribution to the spread of scientific ideas by publishing the Italian translation of Charles Darwin’s The Origin of Species in 1864, and Relativity: The Special and General Theory by Albert Einstein, in 1921. This commitment has continued until the present day, with important scientific translations of essential texts, both popular and didactic, originally published in English.
The publication of legal texts began in 1860, entrusted to the finest specialists in the field. In more recent years, Zanichelli has been one of the first Italian publishers to produce legal works on CD-ROM.
The focus on educational texts for both cultural and vocational development has constituted and continues to constitute one of Zanichelli’s most characteristic features, and is the main driving force behind its activity. To list just a few examples: Letture per il Risorgimento, by Giosue Carducci; Gandiglio and Pighi’s treatises on grammar and syntax; Enriques and Amaldi’s mathematics course, the introduction of “projects” in the 1960s (PSSC for Physics, BSCS for Biology, etc.); the anthology for middle schools, La lettura, edited by Italo Calvino and Giambattista Salinari; the physics textbook by Edoardo and Ugo Amaldi, derived in turn from Enrico Fermi’s textbook.
Today, Zanichelli has more than 550 university books in its catalogue, 200 legal works and periodicals, 600 school textbooks, works on mountaineering, sailing, wildlife and gardening guides, as well as sports, photography, art and architecture texts. In addition, Zanichelli publishes a series of authoritative reference works, manuals, atlases and dictionaries, including the prestigious Vocabolario della lingua italiana by Nicola Zingarelli, now in its highly successful, annually-updated twelfth edition (1993). Other titles published on a yearly basis are the Ragazzini, Zanichelli’s English-Italian dictionary by Giuseppe Ragazzini, an encyclopedia edited by Edigeo, an atlas, an historical atlas, and Giorgio De Nova’s Codice civile e leggi collegate (The Civil Code and Associated Laws). Around the end of the 1980s, Zanichelli was also one of the first Italian publishers to enter the world of electronic publishing.