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Subject:

Help save a progressive oral history archive in Rome

From:

"R.H.Wiltshire" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

R.H.Wiltshire

Date:

Tue, 19 Sep 2000 10:38:48 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (103 lines)

Dear all,

As someone working with archives of English folklore, under the 
constant threat of extinction from a 'culturally short-sighted' 
university administration, the appeal appended below has a 
particular resonance.  But I guess it speaks to us all.  If you feel 
able to send a message of support, I'm sure Alessandro Portelli will 
be very grateful.



>>"Original Message -----
>>From: <mailto:[log in to unmask]>A. Portelli
>>To: Sent: Monday, September 18, 2000 2:35 AM
>>Subject: Help!
>> Dear Friends,
>>    This is an appeal to help save over over thirty years of field work
>>in oral history, folk music, popular culture, in Rome, in Central Italy,
>>and in parts of the United States and other countries. The collection
>>houses over 3000 tapes, many documenting progressive Italian (and other)
>>movements and anti fascism. The archive includes as well the life work of
>>Alessandro Portelli's re fascism and anti fascism, labor strikes,
>>progressive movements, and re Harlan County. Please read the text below
>>and If you are willing to sign the text , please e mail Alessandro
>>Portelli with your name and institution. 

His address is <mailto:[log in to unmask]>[log in to unmask]
Thanks, D
>>
>>Dear friends - I wonder if you would willing to help the institution that
>>houses all my life work in oral history and folk music (as well as that
>>of a number of other activists, researchers, and artists), which  is
>>about to disappear due to the bureaucratic inertia, and cultural
>>short-sightedness of our local institutions. If you are willing to sign
>>the text I enclose, please e mail me back with your name and institution.
>>The Italian text has already gathered dozens of signatures, including
>>Luisa Passerini, Pietro Clemente, and other scholars, artists and
>>activists. Thank you! - Sandro Portelli
>>
>>The "Franco Coggiola" archive and library, established in Rome by the
>>Circolo Gianni Bosio, has lost its space. This archive is the result of
>>over thirty years of field work in oral history, folk music, popular
>>culture, in Rome, in Central Italy, and in parts of the United States and
>>other countries. It has been declared an "archive of relevant historic
>>interest" by the regional authorities. It includes over 3,000 hours of
>>recordings, as well as books, records, videotapes, and served as the
>>basis for important scholarly work (the "Franco Coggiola" Archive is the
>>source for all the oral history documents published in a recent
>>collection sponsored by the local administration on the Resistance in
>>Rome) as well as for the revival, study, and teaching of oral traditions
>>and folk music.
>>
>>The Archive had to give up its historic space (a cellar in the
>>neighborhood of San Lorenzo) because the dampness was destroying the
>>tapes and books. The good will shown in countless meetings with city
>>officials has not resulted in a concrete alternative. The Archive was
>>recently forced to remove its collections from the temporary space
>>offered by a cultural association ("Ex Rialto Occupato") because, during
>>maintenance work, the power cables were cut off and six months of
>>meetings and discussions with city officials and the electric company
>>have not sufficed to have restored!
>>
>>A democratic society and its culture thrive on independent, accessible,
>>highly qualified structures such as the "Franco Coggiola" archive and the
>>Circolo Gianni Bosio. The civic spirit of those who keep them going, the
>>knowledge preserved and made available, the activities (stages, seminars,
>>music) that make it a living space, the resources offered to scholars
>>make them especially important as a democratic cultural resource for the
>>city of Rome and beyond.
>>
>>We therefore invite all local institutions, as well as cultural and
>>political organizations, to operate toward making this important
>>resources once again available to citizens, cultural workers, artists,
>>and scholars.
>>
>>[In a spirit of public service, the Circolo makes the materials of the
>>Archive available by arrangement. For information, and for the catalogue,
>>e mail <mailto:[log in to unmask]>[log in to unmask]).

Luisa Del Giudice, Director
I.O.H.I.
Italian Oral History Institute
P.O. Box 241553
Los Angeles, CA 90024-1553

Tel:  (310) 474-1698
Fax:  (310) 474-3188 
E-mail: [log in to unmask]
www.iohi.org

------- End of forwarded message -------

Robin Wiltshire 
Archivist
National Centre for English Cultural Tradition
University of Sheffield
Sheffield S10 2TN

Phone: 0114 2220195


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