Call Identifier: ICT PSP Call 5 (CIP-ICT PSP-2011-5)

Challenge: Theme 2: Digital Content

Objective: 2.2 Digitising content for Europeana

Funding Schemes: Pilot B

Evaluation Scheme: One Step Proposal

Closure Date: 01/06/2011

Country: Italy

The City of Venice would like to contribute to Europeana trough the documents of the Giacomelli Archive (“Fondo Reale Fotografia Giacomelli”); this archive for both its thoroughness and the extensiveness of the historic period documented, is of great national and international interest.

Through the approximately 180,000 images preserved in this archive, it is possible to retrace, from an interdisciplinary perspective, the entire history of twentieth century Venice and its hinterland: the urban transformations, the social and industrial history, as well as an account of the culture and the environment. In line with the events effecting all the urban areas across the continent, the historic city of Venice had to face up to a process of industrialization that brought about a change of functions and the construction of an ex novo urban area. This, demographically speaking, provoked exponential growth and resulted in new industries, new inhabitants, and new forms of culture and sociality. This same process assailed every historic centre in Europe, making the cities themselves the driving engines of development, concentrated with populations and new functions.

This phenomenon, occurring in a centuries-old city with the peculiar forma urbis of Venice, is particularly evident, and the photographs preserved in the Fondo Giacomelli are the narration and documentation of this. Thus, the Fondo can be integrated with the material already preserved in Europeana concerning the history of European cities of the twentieth century. Furthermore, thousands of photographs depict the stars and important figures of cinema, art and politics – active participants in public life and civic culture – especially at events connected to La Biennale d’Arte and the International Venice Film Festival. This is because, between the Twenties and the Forties, Pietro Giacomelli was the official photographer of these cultural events. Thus, the photographs constituting the Fondo Giacomelli form an important piece of European collective memory.

Today, the first 11,000 images inventoried according to the norms of the ICCD (Istituto Centrale per il Catalogo e la Documentazione – Central Institute for Cataloguing and Documentation) are digitalized and will soon be available for on-line consultation at www.albumdivenezia.it. All of the images have been transformed in JPEG format and answer to the requirements indicated by the ESE (Europeana Semantic Elements). The process of digitalization is also essential for guaranteeing a proper conservation of the material and a flexible consultability. Over the next two years, the aim is to digitalize and archive the other 40,000 photographs, continuing to privilege those documenting urban transformations and cultural life. The Fondo’s shots have already been used for various exhibitions and editorial projects.

Required skills and Expertise:

- a coordinator with experience in European projects management;
- a technical partner able to coordinate the activities of digitalisation and transfer of the documents in a common platform;
- archives, museums, libraries, cultural institutions, theatres, univerities 

Type of partner(s) sought: Libraries, museums, universities, research institutes, historical archives, etc.

For further information, please contact:

Jaime Durán
ICT Sector