The Rinascente Archives project was born in 2015, on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the founding of Magazzini Bocconi and the 100th anniversary of the name conceived by Gabriele d’Annunzio in 1917.

The goal is to digitally reconstitute the company’s archives, lost due to various historical events, and thereby the identity of Rinascente, through research, reproduction and enhancement of images and documents, preserved in local and national archives and libraries.

The Rinascente Archives site is structured into three sections: Pathways, Themes, and Archives & Library.

The Paths section hosts multimedia paths dedicated to particular themes, for an unprecedented reading of the Italian society from Unification to the present day, through the history of the department store.

The Themes section hosts a selection of the most significant archival documents and images, from 1865 to the present. The subjects are: people, places, events, fashion, design, graphics and communication.

The Archives section collects all the virtual archive’s files divided by source, with presentation sheets of the archival collections, the location of materials, the indication of reproduction rights and images use.

The Library area collects Monographs, House Organ and Press Review.

The Rinascente Archives website, under the direction of Maria Canella and Elena Puccinelli, is designed to be the driving force and showcase for the many cultural activities promoted by Rinascente. The aim is to preserve, enhance and communicate the history of the department store and of the urban and national context from Unification to the present.

The Pathways section is constantly enriched with the publication of new multimedia exhibitions based on the rich digitized archive documentation.

The Archives & Library section is periodically implemented, thanks to the publication of new archives and the contribution of users who can participate in the project by sending their own testimony: a photograph, an illustration, a document.

The Archives section is divided into subject areas: history, venues, graphics and communication, fashion and design. The main archives whose documentation is reproduced are:

  • For history: Camera di Commercio Archives, Brustio Archives at Bocconi, Sommariva Fund at Braidense.
  • For locations: Civic Historical Archives and Trivulziana Library, Civic Photographic Archives, Lanzani Archives at the Triennale, TCI Archives.
  • For graphics and communication: La Rinascente Archives, Civica Raccolta di Stampe Achille Bertarelli, Saporetti Archives, Cesare Breveglieri Archives, Galati Archives, Albe and Lica Steiner Archives at the Milan Polytechnic, Salvatore Gregorietti Archives, Amneris Latis Archives, Italo Lupi Archives.
  • For fashion: Serge Libis and Farabola Archives.
  • For design: Fondazione ADI Collezione Compasso d’Oro, Archivio Storico la Triennale, Mario Bellini Archives.


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