Enzo Demattè was born in Trento on 6 December 1927. In 1939, he moved with his family to Treviso, where, having graduated with a degree in Classics from Padova in 1952, he started teaching.
He taught Italian language and literature in various secondary schools in the province of Treviso, then became the headteacher of Middle Schools and technical inspector for Italian language and literature at the Venice Superintendency. He ended his career in Paris, where he moved in 1987, as General Inspector of the Italian school in France, at the Italian Embassy.
As well as a teacher, he was a prolific writer and poet: for over forty years he expounded on subjects, authors, artists, toponyms, languages, habits, customs and traditions of the Veneto, his thoughts on the contribution of the area’s culture to the multifaceted national literary heritage, and historical figures of 19th century Treviso. His proximity to the world of education and young people convinced him of the importance of story-telling and of seeing the world through the eyes of the young, who were the main characters of his stories, rather than those of an adult.
His professional life ran parallel to a constant involvement in the city’s social and cultural life: he was one of the founders – and later the head – of the Italian Catholic Scouts Association of Treviso, president of the Treviso section of the Italian Federalist Movement, member of the Unicef Board of Directors for the Veneto, and Triveneto chairman of the International Board on Books for Young People. From 1965 to 1970 he was a Treviso city councillor and Councillor for education, culture and the young; in those years, he launched the youth section of the Municipal Library of Treviso, which, in 2016, was renamed ‘E. Demattè’ Library for Young People.
The works of Enzo Demattè include: children’s literature, Il regno sul fiume, 1968 – Giana Anguissola Award, 1967; poetry El sorgoturco, 1963 – Marta Award of the Ateneo Veneto, and La dogaressa Marina, 1984; essays and critical studies Girandole e camini trevisani, 1961 and Trecento lettere di Giovanni Comisso a Maria e Natale Mazzolà, 1972.
He died in Treviso on 11 October 2014.
Contents of the collection
The collection includes the professional archive and the section of Enzo Demattè’s library preserved in his office. The archive (approximately 300 folders, photographs and letters, diaries) documents his professional activity as teacher, his poetry and writings, and his civil and cultural engagement. The library – which contains approximately 2,000 books and some periodicals – also includes many first editions of his works and various essays with dedication.
It also contains commemorative plaques, parchments and medals of the various honours he received.
List of the folders in the archive (partial).
The collection may be browsed according to the methods set forth in the library/documentation centre regulations
Method of acquisition
Gift by the Demattè family, December 2018.