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Ricerca per l'innovazione della scuola italiana

Historical Archive

INDIRE’s Historical Archive: 95 thousand documents and 14 thousand photos on the history of the Institute and the Italian school system

INDIRE is the Italian Ministry of Education’s oldest research organization. It was founded in Florence in 1925. The Institute keeps a rich historical legacy dating from the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, one of the few archives in Italy specializing in the collection and valorization of documentary material of historical/educational interest. The archive consists of around 95 thousand documents (books and teaching materials) and 14 thousand photos.

The documentary legacy consists of reserves outside the Institute’s sphere of interest, but closely connected to pedagogical matters, and is subdivided into:

  • 3 special reserves linked to education: scholastic material, an international selection of school magazines and design contests;
  • 8 archives of VIPs: Giuseppe Fanciulli, Luigi Bertelli, Arturo Linacher, Francesco Bettini, Giuseppe Lombardo Radice, Ottavio Gigli and Gianni Cavalcoli;
  • 5 family archives: Gizdulich, Farina, Grumelli, Sacchi-Simonetta and Neppi-Modona;
  • 1 educational archive of Giuseppe Caputo featuring documentation from the archive of the “Antonio Meucci” vocational upper secondary school in Lastra a Signa, near Florence.
  • A photo archive of 14 thousand historical images of school life from all over Italy dating from the late 1800s to the 1960s.

Part of the documentary heritage is still kept at Palazzo Gerini, INDIRE’s fifteenth-century HQ building in the historical centre of Florence. Sadly, the archive was damaged by the 1966 flooding of Florence and partially also by the trials and tribulations suffered by INDIRE during its ninety years of history.