Twentieth century personal archives

“Twentieth century personal archives” is a research project on contemporary personal archives in Veneto, which was conducted between 2009 and 2017 by the Veneto Region in partnership with Fondazione Benetton Studi Ricerche.

The aim of the research, consisting of several stages, was to conduct a systematic survey of increasingly substantial archival acquisitions, requiring special care and specific theoretical approaches to their analysis, in view of the quantity, nature of the materials contained in the collections as well as their significance as a source for studying contemporary history and culture.

The survey began in the province of Treviso and the first results were presented at Personal Archives in the Treviso area: memories and identities to be discovered (Treviso, 28 April 2010), then continued in the provinces of Belluno and Vicenza and ended with Padua, Rovigo, Venice and Verona.

The survey uncovered a highly complex archival heritage, consisting of thousands of public and private collections. This documentation covers a wide range of contents and cultural contexts, therefore the potential for performing further detailed analyses and supporting a variety of research pathways is significant.

The archival data from the survey are stored and periodically updated in a database that can be viewed on request at the Regional Government offices, whereas part of the collections is described in the SIAR Veneto (Regional Archival Information System), which is accessible by the general public.

In addition, the work archive that resulted from this project (publications on individuals and collections, sundry documents relating to popularising activities of the archives surveyed) is accessible by the general public at the Fondazione Benetton’s archive.

Archivi di persona nel Veneto. Un progetto per scoprire, far conoscere e raccontare le vite nascoste nelle carte (Personal archives in Veneto. A project to explore, introduce and share the lives hidden in papers), 2018 (1.5 MB PDF file), the dossier collecting and analysing the results of this research, is available online.