The Waldensians go back to the merchant Valdes, in Lyon, who decided – supposedly in the year of 1173 – to live as Jesus asked his Apostles to do. In the 13th century the Waldensians expanded north of the Alps, but persecution hit them hard and in the 15th century they survived only in Southern Europe. The last remnants of the Waldensians joined the Reformation in 1532 and they founded their own small Calvinist church in 1559. After 1562 the Waldensians were pushed back to the Cottian Alps. Here they lived partly in French territory, partly in Piedmont. At the end of the 17th century the French Waldensians, persecuted by Louis XIV, sought refuge in Germany. After 1850 many Waldensian migrated, for economic reasons, from Piedmont to North and South America. The Piedmontese Emancipation Edict of 1848 led to the expansion of the Waldensian Church into all of Italy and today it is one of the most important voices of Protestantism in that country.
The Waldensian Church is the only Protestant church, which goes directly back to a heretical movement from the high Middle Ages. For that reason thousands of books have been published on the theology and history of the Waldensians. In 1953 Augusto Armand Hugon and Giovanni Gonnet compiled an extensive Bibliografia valdese. Now over fifty years old, this bibliography is to be replaced by a new, updated internet-bibliography, started in 2004.
This new bibliography is interactive. Besides bibliographical data, the user also has the opportunity to insert additional items and to improve or supplement an existing item.
The site www.bibliografia-valdese.com is a joint project of the Foundation Centro Culturale Valdese in Torre Pellice, the Società di Studi Valdesi in Torre Pellice and the Reformierter Bund in Deutschland in Hannover. It has financial support from the Regione Piemonte (L.R. 25/98) and the Tavola Valdese (projects financed under the 0.8% tax contribution scheme). The Reformierter Bund in Deutschland will be responsible for web design and maintenance.
Manager of the Centro Culturale Valdese, Torre Pellice: Davide Rosso (email@example.com)
President of the Società di Studi Valdesi, Torre Pellice: Dr. Dino Carpanetto (firstname.lastname@example.org)
General Secretary of the Reformierter Bund in Deutschland in Hannover (email@example.com): Dr. Achim Detmers
Webmaster: Klaus Vogler (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Academic responsability: Dr. Albert de Lange (email@example.com)
Within the Vaudois Bibliography it is now also possible to find maps illustrating the Vaudois valleys and of the territory connected with Vaudois history. The caption associated with each map, accompanied by an image, gives, together with the identifying data of the map, and its publication, a brief physical description and bibliographical references regarding both the provenance of the map and the relevant bibliography.
It is possible to research by author, by territory (the Vaudois valleys, western Alps, Piedmont, northern Italy), identified as first descriptor in the subject index, or, using the “advanced research” menu, inserting in the sub ject field “maps”.
The specific project, aimed at the digital acquisition, cataloguing, digital consultation and paper version of the cartographic material, is being carried out by the Società di Studi Valdesi; with the assistance of the Archivio Storico of the city of Turin, of the archive of the main library of the Facoltà di Architettura of the Politecnico di Torino e of a number of private collectors; and has obtained funding support from the Regione Piemonte e from the Fondazione della Cassa di Risparmio di Saluzzo.