Can we distinguish libraries from archives? hooks for fishing from compasses for orientation? ICAR from SAN? A contribution to the latest issue (2015, 5: 732-739) of the Journal of Modern Italian Studies by Mauro Tosti Croce & Maria Natalina Trivisan, ‘Thematic Portals: Tools for Research and Making the Archival Heritage Known‘, guides us through these distinctions and the ways to access digitalised resources from Italy’s state archives. It lists, with information and web addresses, nine thematic portals covering acts of violence, company archives, fashion, music, architecture, the records of former psychiatric hospitals, ancestors, cartographies and property records, and the music of Verdi.