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The only complete collection of L'Indipendente that has been reported to us is at the Italian National Library in Naples, although, according to Douglas Munro, another one is at the Biblioteca e Archivo del Risorgimento in Milan. None of these two may be easily consulted. The Société des Amis d'Alexandre Dumas had long been trying to fill the lack of such an important source for studies about Dumas in France.

Thanks to our friend Fabio Sverzellati (whose mother tongue is Italian) we have been able to address a convincing plea to Naples's library's persons in charge, and they have agreed to lend a kindly ear to us. Without Dotoressa Billi, the Biblioteca Nazionale di Napoli's librarian, giving us permission, we would never have been able to achieve this scheme. We would like to thank him in the first place.

The Library recommended us to a photographer, Sen. Giovanna de Vita, who accepted, for a low fee, to undertake the gigantic task of phtographing the paper's fifteen years - some 16.000 pages. The quality of his work has raised praises from all the specialists. We wish to express our gratefulness to him.
A quick glance at the twelve spools show both the size and the significance of those texts which mostly remained unpublished. We first had to make an index. Having to accomplish such a work from microfilms, we were faced with a practica problem, so that printing them seemed absolutely necessary, and would be useful for the future research workers who would study them, especially since the Society doesn't have any microflms reader yet. Let us hope that the Centre d'Etudes Dumasiennes at the castle of Monte-Cristo will soon be equipped with some of them, for the Society is now in possession of the microfilms of all the papers Dumas published.

The printing of some 8000 exposures was quite expensive, and we might not have been able to affod it if not for Kodak : they have granted us with a most valuable patronage by putting their technical knowledge and the necessary equipment at our disposal. Patronage is not always a matter of spectacular media-promoted deals. The help Kodak gave to these literary research works poves it. We wish to express our gratefulness to Kodak, and to people in charge of the commercial department : Monsieur Blaiseau and his assistant Mlle Christiane Josse.

Lastly, thanks to our friends from the ACCRP, we have been able to have a copy of those precious films sent to the French National Library for it seemed better to us that there wouldn't be only one copy of them in France.

It is sure that the first period until April 1864 (when Dumas left Naples) is the richest as far as unpublished materials are concerned. Dumas used to write almost daily in L'Indipendente, sometimes several articles. This extraordinary collection of political and literary articles will sure amaze (once more) with its variety and multiplicity - there are 941 articles by Dumas senior or junior. Some of these texts have been published in French in several papers (La Presse, Le Siècle, Le Second Mousquetaire and Le Petit Journal, etc...). It is up to the students to identify and compare the French and the Italian versions. Our limited knowledge of the language can't bring us to put forward any thesis about the texts' primacy. Of course, some articles such as I Borboni di Napoli (really sold as a supplement of the paper) and Il Volontario del 93 (which we have published in the original French edition in 1988 under the title : René Besson), first came out in these pages. It is also said that other articles have been especially written for L'indipendente. Yet Dumas often allowed himself a few twitches... We hope that research workers will study the riddles his index will sure face them with.

Digby and Christiane Neave
© Société des Amis d'Alexandre Dumas
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