For experienced Dante scholars and first-time readers alike, a variety of online resources are available to better understand the poet's times, work, and legacy: The World of Dante, Danteworlds, the Princeton Dante Project, the Dartmouth Dante Project, and the Digital Dante Project. Except for Danteworlds, all projects contain the full-text of the Comedy, along with other resources.
Danteworlds is the least interactive of these websites, offering short interpretations and analyses of different parts of the poem, offered alongside images, audio recordings of selected lines from the canto, and discussion questions. The website is adapted from a book by Guy P. Raffa, which would explain why this site is not as interactive, open, and diverse as the other Dante repositories. With the diversity of opinions and media available in the other sites, this one should perhaps only be a starting point for beginners.
On the other hand, the similarly titled World of Dante, an elegant online repository of digital Dante paraphernalia, will be the most accessible and interactive resource for those unfamiliar with the time in which Dante lived. There are, again, galleries of later depictions based upon Dante's work, but there are also maps historical and explanatory maps, full recordings of music Dante uses in his Comedy, and a draggable timeline to put Dante's life and work in context. The (bilingual) full-text of each canto is paired with a sidebar that lists people, places, creatures, deities, structures, and music mentioned in that canto, allowing for more in-depth explorations of certain important elements of the text. These resources allow the student guidance through the text, but never assert a singular interpretation of the text. Teachers will be able to find many uses for the information stored on this site, and there is even page suggesting how best to use the site for teaching the Comedy. This site does not, however, contain commentaries and secondary sources from the canon of Dante scholars.
The Digital Dante Project offers two translations of the Comedy--Mandelbaum's and Longfellow's--which can each be viewed simultaneously alongside the original Italian or alongside the other translation, allowing for translation comparisons. This is the site's strongest and most unique feature in the pantheon of Dante websites. Also contains Dante's other writings, selected related classics, and limited scholarly works, as well as images, maps, and links to other Dante and Medieval sites. Some links appear to be broken, and the overall user interface is not as elegant as the World of Dante.
Like Word of Dante, though not as extensively, the Princeton Dante Project (2.0) offers multimedia related to the Comedy, as well as a searchable text of the poem. However, the Princeton Dante Project offers a better integration of the text and the secondary documents, linking individual lines of the poem to audio readings in Italian and English, images from the World of Dante, Robert Hollander's and Paget Toynbee's commentaries, and philological notes. Additionally, the sidebar also allows readers to search instantly for information on that particular line in the Dartmouth Dante Project (below). This powerful sidebar, though it takes a while to get used to, allows readers to seemlessly move between a normal reading of the original text and an in-depth review of the wealth of resources available online. Also contains minor works by Dante.
For those who need to close read a particular section of the Comedy, the Dartmouth Dante Project offers over seventy commentaries to turn to. They are accessible only through searches, meaning that only inidivdual segments are visible at once, preventing from a complete reading of the text. Regardless, the searchable database is a powerful research tool for the serious scholar who wants specific information (and who can read the commentaries and texts in the original Italian, English, or Latin).
A less traditional scholastic resource, Dante Today offers a good example of how to integrate technology and classroom discussion, even one about early modern poetry. This blog collects cultural artifacts that are direct allusions to Dante's Divine Comedy, trying to document the "Nachleben" or afterlife of the poet.
Of the resources reviewed here, the Princeton Dante Project is the most robust and versatile for serious and first-time readers alike, the Dartmouth Dante Project is the best for committed academics, and the World of Dante is the most useful for first-time readers or others looking for Dante-related multimedia.