The project “FOTOEDU – Photo Archives for the History of Schools and Education” is part of a long process to reorganise and valorise INDIRE’s photo reserves, carried out under the scientific supervision of the Italian Society for Photography Studies (SISF) . Over 14 thousand images are kept in this archive, whose original nucleus dates back to the National Educational Exhibition of 1925. The photo reserves concern various subjects, from the school building, to the teaching activities carried out in schools (lessons, gym work, shows, canteens, science experiments, etc.), including cultural activities organised by Florence’s National Teaching Museum.
This is one of the most important collections of photos on the history of schools and educational systems in Italy, both for the quality of the material, and for the specific nature of the subjects of the photos. The collection is unique of its kind, given that it also takes in a vast time-frame (from the late 1800s to the mid-1960s) and a large geographic area (the whole of Italy).
FOTOEDU allows uploading of INDIRE’s entire photo archive online, but it also intends to create a cumulative national catalogue of photo reserves, coordinated by a national observatory consisting of INDIRE and the SISF, thereby valorising, as already happened with FISQED (historical reserves of notebooks and written production), a documentary legacy of exceptional scientific interest through an examination of reserves, the setting up of a documentary network, and the gradual development of a catalogue that can be accessed online.
Project Manager: Pamela Giorgi (INDIRE historical archive)
Information source: Rita Ercole (INDIRE historical archive)
Other contributors: Elena Franchi, Fabiana Spinelli, and Alessandra Cucolo