Since 2001 Fondazione Corriere della Sera has been preserving a cultural heritage declared of considerable historical interest by the Archival Superintendence for Lombardy as early as 1976, a precious editorial archive that today can count on the documentary and iconographic materials of the newspaper of via Solferino, as well as of the other companies of RCS MediaGroup, such as the Valentino Bompiani and Rizzoli publishing houses, and some photographic materials of the periodicals.
This documentary and iconographic heritage, which is one of a kind, consists of almost 2 linear km, distributed over two locations which preserve multiple and varied materials that cover a chronological time span from 1876 to the 2000s. The fundamental part of this cultural heritage is the archive of Corriere della Sera, which today preserves over 13,000 files including correspondence and administrative-accounting documents, to which it must be added the section relating to the product, with more than 3000 volumes of the collections of the newspaper and its supplements (from La Domenica del Corriere to Corriere dei Piccoli, from La Lettura to Il Romanzo Mensile), over 100,000 units of graphic materials, related to the design and realization of the illustrated part of the periodical publications, and over 2 million photographs, mostly negatives.
The cultural project carried out in recent years has been enriched first with the editorial correspondence and administrative documentation of the Bompiani and Rizzoli publishing houses, then with the photographic archives acquired by Rizzoli in the 60s, in particular those of Fedele Toscani and Armando Bruni, which count in total about 100 thousand negatives on plate and on film from the 20s to the end of the 50s. Finally, with the acquisition of the personal archives of some famous and historical collaborators, from Gaetano Afeltra to Giovanni Cenzato, from Enzo Biagi to Emilio Tadini, from Oriana Fallaci to Fernanda Pivano, from Ugo Guarino to Iris De Paoli.
The huge quantity and variety of these archives and their inseparable relationships make evident the value of this heritage, made available to scholars through a computerized database created ad hoc, which can offer a better consultation of the additional documentation, through complex and transversal queries on the various documentary archives, enriched in some sections with digital images that can be viewed along with archival data.
This rich system of sources, their constant and controlled increase, and the possibilities of future development with the acquisition of new archives and materials, make possible studies and research that can go beyond the important company history and open to wider investigations, due to the close relationship that has always existed between everyday events and national history.
In over 20 years of activity, the commitment to the cataloguing of historical archives, combined with the intense activity of enhancement both in the exhibition and editorial fields, has allowed Fondazione Corriere della Sera to play an increasingly important cultural role in the national territory and to create a real study center on the history of journalism.