About the Lab

Vitale II is a digital scholarship lab located in the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts, on the sixth floor of Van Pelt Library. Its resources include:

  • Two 60-inch display screens that can be used with the lab camera, desktops, or laptops
  • An overhead Wolfvision camera with the ability to zoom, save, and connect virtually through Skype or Google Hangout
  • A movable whiteboard
  • Reconfigurable tables and chairs
  • Power-strips and myriad cables
  • Two desktop computers with digital research software and sample data sets
  • Six laptop computers (Mac and Windows)
  • Trained and enthusiastic staff who can aid you in digital research and production!

Vitale II is staffed by Dot Porter (Curator, Digital Research Services), Mitch Fraas (Schoenberg Institute Scholar-in-Residence), Katie Rawson (Bollinger Fellow for Library Innovation), Doug Emery (Special Collections Digital Content Programmer), and Dennis Mullen (Digitization Specialist). Our areas of expertise range from data formatting and analysis, to web development, digital humanities tools, and special collections materials. We collaborate actively with the Weigle Information Commons (WIC), which includes the original Vitale Digital Media Lab. For more information about Vitale II, read our Frequently Asked Questions.

About the Vitales

Gioietta and Alberto A. Vitale, WG’59, PAR’90

The Vitale Media Lab is named in honor of Penn alumnus and long-term Penn Libraries Board member Alberto Vitale, WG’59 PAR’90 and his wife Gioietta.

Alberto Vitale, has always wanted to push research and learning and has looked to use new technologies to advance the scholarly experience. In the early 2000s when the Penn Libraries started drawing up plans for the Weigle Information Commons, Vitale generously supported the inclusion of the Vitale Digital Media Lab located on the first floor of Van Pelt. Inspired by the idea to include another lab in the Kislak Center which supports digital research, the Vitales showed their generosity again. The two labs are named in honor of Alberto and Gioietta.

Alberto Vitale is a former member of the board of Random House Inc., where he was chairman and chief executive officer from 1989 to 1998, when he retired. He was formerly president and chief executive of Bantam-Doubleday-Dell and a principal officer in the Agnelli family’s holding group in Turin. Vitale received a degree in economics from the University of Turin, Italy, in 1956, studied at IPSOA Business School, and attended the Wharton School on a Fulbright Scholarship in 1958. He is a former member of the board of overseers of the Wharton School, and a current member of the board of overseers of the Libraries of the University of Pennsylvania, the Economic Club of New York, the Council of Foreign Relations, the Council of the USA and Italy and the Century Club of New York. Gioietta is a celebrated cookbook author. Her cookbooks for Italian dishes focuses on rice and vegetables. She is a former chairwoman for the American Italian Cancer Foundation and denotes much of her time raising money for cancer research. Their son, Alex, is a graduate of Wharton and his granddaughter, Julia, is a student at Penn.

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