1st Conference in Italy on Archeological PAPER Heritage

The Industrial Paper Heritage in Italy: Its history, places, and enhancement. This is the title of the convention that the Gianfranco Fedrigoni Foundation, Istituto Europeo di Storia della Carta e delle Scienze Cartarie [European Institute of Paper History and Paper Science](ISTOCARTA) based in  Fabriano has planned, for this following 27th and28th of May 2016, at the magnificent ‘Oratorio della Carità’. Fabriano, being the unique location for the Convention, “The city of paper,” par excellence, and having an inheritance of an industrial archeological heritage, which dates back to the XIII century, has developed itself into industry, starting from 1782 with Cartiere Miliani Fabriano, which was taken over by the Fedrigoni Group in 2002, taking the name “FABRIANO”. It was the first convention in Italy on industrial paper archeology. It was promoted and greatly desired by the G. Fedrigoni ISTOCARTA Foundation, and supported by the Associazione Italiana del Patrimonio Archeologico Industriale (AIPAI) as well as by the Centro di Ricerca e Servizio sul Paesaggio dell’Università Politecnica delle Marche, which have all collaborated in organizing the initiative.

The convention was divided up over two days: the first day was dedicated to The production of paper in Italy throughout history and industrial archeology: territorial frameworks in a long-term perspective; the second was focused on Paper production sites and eco-museums: cases, filing, enhancement proposals (please see the attached program for further details).

The program  includes a number of speeches and lectures, given by respected scholarsand university professors from all over Italy, with the end goal of obtaining a ‘map’ of the paper making sites and of the related archeological heritage, deepening the knowledge of the past and present history of industrial paper making, as well asdeveloping the topic of "Eco-museum”, also known as “wide spread museum”, through those Italian paper millswhich have already established and experimented a new non- conventional type of museum, without walls, that aims at safeguarding, enhancing  and promoting traditional life styles and spaces, which represent the natural and historic-artistic heritage of any territory. 

The president of the G. Fedrigoni ISTOCARTA Foundation, Alessandro Fedrigoni, opened speech of the convention, followed by representatives from collaborating entities: Francesco Chiapparino (Coordinator of AIPAI Marche Region) and Andrea Galli (Director of CIRP). Anna-Grethe Rischel, President of International Paper Historians (IPH) presented a report on the state of historic studies of paper in Europe, entitled: A status report on historical studies of European paper; while Ivo Mattozzi, a professor from the Libera Università di Bolzano (Free University of Bolzano) presented: The creation of the industrial paper heritage from the XVIII century.

The event, recognized for its high cultural level and national importance, is sponsored by the Ministry for Cultural Assets and Activities and Tourism , as well by the Municipality of Fabriano and by the International Paper Historians (IPH), at an International level.


In order to make the very interesting program of these two days even richer, on Friday 27th May 2016 at 5.30 pm at the Oratorio della Carità – at the end of the first day of the convention - was presented of the third volume of the prestigious series of the History of Paper “L’era del segno” edited in its first two volumes (Volume 1 in 2003 and Volume 2 in 2006) by Cartiere Miliani Fabriano - Fedrigoni Group, which today ideally passes the baton to the G. Fedrigoni ISTOCARTA Foundation with this last volume entitled LA FORMA. Formisti e Cartai nella Storia della Carta Occidentale (THE MOULD. Paper-and Mould-Makers in the History of Western Paper) curated by Giancarlo Castagnari (paper historian), which represents, without a doubt, one-of – a kind in its genre in Italy for the topic dealt with, the “mould” – indispensable tool for the production of hand-made paper since the XIII century- which is narrated in its historic and techno-scientific realm; it was born out of the desire to make known and enhance the precious 2.295 watermarked “moulds”(dating back to 1846), inherited by the historic Cartiere Miliani Fabriano; recently restored and transferred to the historical paper archeology building in Fabriano, headquarters of the G. Fedrigoni ISTOCARTA Foundation.

A collective bilingual work (Italian and English) made up of historical  monographic essays  on the subject, as well as a photo album, curated by Livia Faggioni (coordinator of the G. Fedrigoni ISTOCARTA Foundation) with images of some of the most extraordinary “moulds” present in the collection. With its release, the G. Fedrigoni ISTOCARTA Foundation finally makes the results of a long journey of analysis and experimentation official, which was shared together with the Istituto Centrale per il Catalogo e la Documentazione (ICCD) in Rome and the Soprintendenza dei Beni Storici Artisti ed Etnoantropologici delle Marche, in order to standardize the “moulds” cataloguing method at national level , among the various Italian paper mills whose  paper heritage is similar to that of Fabriano . In fact, the volume contains  an updated cataloguing form, PST 4.00 (acronym for Patrimonio Scientifico e Tecnologico - Scientific and Technological Heritage -  the cultural heritage sector identified for  the “moulds”), which has been integrated with a papermaking technique word list referring to the “mould”, the first of its kind.  It has been under experimentation since the month July 2016, when it was officially published in the ‘Sistema Informativo Generale del Catalogo’ (SIGECweb) and on-line on the ICCD website  (www.iccd.beniculturali.it) among the ‘Standard Catalografici’. All of this was made possible thanks to the professionalism and collaboration of the all Institutions,headed by the  Ministry for  Cultural Assets and  Activities and Tourismand the knowhow  of all the experts made available by the G. Fedrigoni ISTOCARTA Foundation. An important step, which marks the national evolution in the field of historic and technical papermaking studies. The G. Fedrigoni ISTOCARTA foundation, for a few months now, has begun the cataloging of the 2.295 moulds  according to the established rules. The volume was presented by Ezio Ornato from the ‘Laboratoire de Médiévistique Occidentale de Paris’ (CNRS - Université Paris I).


Photographer: Maurizio Cimarra