Supporting the Preservation, Cataloguing and Enhancement of the Accademia Di Santa Cecilia Archives

Project location: Italy, Rome
Project start date: June 2012 - Project end date: December 2012
Project number: 2012-071
Beneficiary: Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia - Fondazione


The Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, founded in 1585, is one of the most ancient musical institutions in the world.  

Since 2005 the users of the multimedia library almost quadrupled, increasing from a figure of 8,230 in 2006 to the current 36,544 (31st October 2010) as shown by monthly statistics.
On the basis of previous work, specific agreements have been designed to accommodate user requests. For example to make available audio, books and photographs accessible without limits but conforming to current copyright law, a convention with the National Library of Bari has been signed, where a dedicated connection enables users to access all documents related to Puglia held by the Accademia Archives. Positive feedback from this initiative encourages its extension to other Italian Regions in response to the many user requests.
Regarding documents related to European and extra-European musical traditions, the enhancement of the Archives' assets will be particularly useful to promote better knowledge of different musical languages and cultures for the general public, and especially younger users, helping them develop a stimulating curiosity towards other civilizations and cultures. Within these objectives the Accademia has started in 2007 three different editorial series for children, all about music, which have gained great success amongst schools and public in general.

The project initially aims to complete the reorganization process as well as the cataloguing of those analogue media which keep musical memories of classical (concerts) and oral traditions and make up the Archives' collections. Subsequently these assets will be digitized in high resolution (Wave) for conservation, and compressed format (MP3) for public access. About half of the documents are already accessible online through the multimedia library portal: the objective is to catalogue and enhance those recordings which haven't yet been studied and don't appear in any published catalogue or inventory, because they were discovered during the moving of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia from it's original location to the new Auditorium. To these documents one should add photos and scores donated to the Accademia by prominent composers of the Twentieth century.
This crucial project is now seriously at risk because of the heavy public funding cuts culture has undergone, which in turn hinder the opportunity to invest in the initiative.
The Nando Peretti Foundation has awarded a grant for this project. It received further funding in 2013-2014.

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