Digitisation and valorisation of Venetian Music Archives

© Fondazione Giorgio Cini
© Fondazione Giorgio Cini
© Fondazione Giorgio Cini
© Fondazione Giorgio Cini
© Fondazione Giorgio Cini
© Fondazione Ugo e Olga Levi

key details

22 November 2023
Onsite at ARCHiVe / Online on Zoom
2pm — 6pm (CET)


A study seminar on the Island of San Giorgio Maggiore in Venice, in collaboration with the Institute for Music and the Intercultural Institute of Comparative Music Studies of the Fondazione Giorgio Cini.

The meeting was created to take stock of the state of the art of projects for the description, digitisation and valorisation of the main sound and music archives belonging to various city institutes actively engaged in this regard. The aim is to share methods and technologies, good practices and virtuous choices adopted by the various institutions called upon to participate, highlighting the peculiarities of each archive and emphasising the links that unite them.


New IISMC proposals for audiovisual archives in ethnomusicology

  • Giovanni Giuriati | Fondazione Giorgio Cini
  • Marco Lutzu | Università degli Studi di Cagliari
  • Simone Tarsitani | Durham University
  • Costantino Vecchi | Fondazione Giorgio Cini

The IISMC (Istituto Interculturale di Studi Musicali Comparati) archive of the Fondazione Giorgio Cini holds documentation on the Institute’s activities since 1969. In addition to working on the preservation and enhancement of the archival materials (paper, audio, photographic and video), since 2004 the Institute has been systematically documenting its initiatives in audiovisual form.

The talk intends to present recent work carried out using digital technologies for the IISMC archive with particular reference to audiovisual documentation (S. Tarsitani), cataloguing and restitution (C. Vecchi) and the creation of audiovisual materials for educational and dissemination purposes (M. Lutzu).

LeviDigiLab: the digitisation project of the Fondazione Ugo e Olga Levi

  • Giulia Clera | Fondazione Ugo e Olga Levi

With the LeviDigiLab project, the Fondazione Ugo e Olga Levi in 2023 started a digitisation process for the preservation and online consultation of the documentary heritage of the Gianni Milner Library.

The project aims to bring the culture of digitisation into the Fondazione Levi, making the structure and the staff involved capable of dealing with the digital transformation of the holdings for conservation and enhancement and to increase the public’s accessibility through a dedicated platform searchable by the user through a dedicated front-end (Opac).
The foundation has equipped itself with an in-house laboratory that is currently being implemented thanks also to the numerous grants obtained.

Design and development of the digital archive of the Fondazione Archivio Luigi Nono: an interweaving of knowledge between musicology, archivistics and computer science

  • Alessandro Russo | Centro di Sonologia Computazionale (CSC) Università di Padova
  • Michele Patella | Centro di Sonologia Computazionale (CSC) Università di Padova

The Luigi Nono Archive was founded in 1993 on the initiative of Nuria Schoenberg Nono with the aim of collecting, preserving and promoting the composer’s precious legacy. Since 2015 the project of the creation of the Luigi Nono Digital Collection has been launched in collaboration with Paul Sacher Stiftung and funded by the Ernst von Siemens Musikstiftung. Between 2015 and 2017, a preservation and valorisation project took place, promoted and coordinated by the Soprintendenza archivistica e bibliografica del Veneto e del Trentino Alto Adige, which also involved the magnetic tapes of the Luigi Nono funds. The intervention was entrusted to the Centre for Computational Sonology of the University of Padua. In 2019, the online migration of the Fondazione Archivio Luigi Nono’s database began with the intervention of the company Audio Innova, a spin-off of the University of Padua.

ARMID@Venice: Music and Digital Humanism in Venice. The musical sources of the "Benedetto Marcello" Conservatory

  • Paolo Da Col | Conservatorio di Musica Benedetto Marcello di Venezia
  • Alice Martignon | Università Ca' Foscari Venezia
  • Giulio Pojana | Università Ca' Foscari Venezia

On 1 October 2021, thanks to a new scientific collaboration between the “Benedetto Marcello” Conservatory of Music in Venice and Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, it was possible to launch ARMID@Venezia (ARchivio Musicale e Iconografico Digitale A Venezia), a research project dedicated to the digitisation, virtual restoration and non-invasive diagnostic study of ancient musical sources (manuscripts and printed books) kept at the lagoon music institute. After a brief excursus on the main digitisation, cataloguing, conservation and valorisation projects currently active at the Conservatory’s “Mario Messinis” Library (Prof. P. Da Col), the technologies adopted and the results achieved within ARMID@Venezia will be described (Dr. A. Martignon, Prof. G. Pojana).

The Archives of the Institute for Music of the Fondazione Giorgio Cini

  • Francisco Rocca | Fondazione Giorgio Cini

The Fondazione Giorgio Cini’s Institute for Music works for the acquisition, preservation, protection, and valorisation of 20th and early 21st centuries archives, with a focus on those produced by prominent personalities from the worlds of music, dance and audiovisual, which can be consulted through digital archives.

The presentation aims to illustrate this archival heritage and the enhancement initiatives implemented in recent years, focusing in particular on digital archives and their huge potential.

Building the Historical Archive of the Future: the case of Heritage Lab

Hitstorical images from the photo archives © Italgas
Hitstorical images from the photo archives © Italgas
Hitstorical images from the photo archives © Italgas
Hitstorical images from the photo archives © Italgas

key details

13 November 2023
Online on Zoom
3pm — 5pm (CET)


Online class on the challenges of the Corporate Digital Archive, digital formats, integrated processes and the role of  the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The seminary is dedicated to the potential of a digital company archive and the methods of preservation and sharing, in particular of the extensive documentation tracing the history of the Italgas company.

Digital transformation and technological innovation — which are Italgas’ main drives in the energy transition — are at the heart of Heritage Lab. The centre is committed to achieving several objectives, including the systematisation of the historical archive and the management of the current archive, the sharing of digitised documents and their conversion into big data, through a highly automated acquisition cycle thanks to the use of artificial intelligence algorithms for post-production and optical character recognition (OCR).


The Heritage Lab model

  • Katya Corvino

Heritage Lab is Italgas’ digitisation museum-laboratory, developed entirely in-house with specialised machinery, technologies and skills from the field of cultural heritage and applied to the massive digital acquisition of Corporate and Industrial Heritage. Their heritage consists of 3 linear kilometres of documents, and it is digitised by a team of specialists, composed of 4 archivists in charge of identifying and selecting the documents, 2 palaeographers with expertise in ancient texts, 3 librarians cataloguing the material, and 15 operators, who carry out the digitisation and append metadata.

Digitisation stream

  • Matteo Allasia

The digital transformation process can be illustrated with a sequence of nine steps, from the premises of the Italgas Historical Archive, to the cataloguing of documents on the xDams platform, and the selection of the most valuable bulks for digitisation.

At the Heritage Lab laboratory-museum, we select the most appropriate digitisation system based on the document’s format and type.
The scanned images are processed through the Time Machine server, which derives the compressed images from the master copies and applies measurement and OCR scripts. The user copies are then imported into xDams and enriched with a set of metadata, which adds meaningful narratives to the material.

Building the Historical Archive of the Future

  • Daniela Marendino

Building and feeding the Historical Archive, with the creation of a shared procedure for identifying, preserving and substituting paper documents, is essential to the management of the documentation flow of the current archive.

Heritage Lab has established a new procedure for the management of analog documents and is working on the creation of a new classification and record preservation system, and a management manual, together with an internal communication campaign to raise staff awareness.

Managing the digital heritage of business archives

  • Giovanni Michetti

The speech will cover the topic of the digital heritage of business archives, focusing in particular on the following points:

– Not just paper: digital objects as archival documents;

– The business archive as an integrated system;

– Digital formats;

– Management and preservation processes in the digital environment;

– The role of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).


Matteo Allasia

A Heritage Lab expert, he was a fellow at the ARCHiVe Centre, and was then a Regesta.exe contributor for Heritage Lab Italgas. Graduated in Classical Literature and Communication, with a Master’s degree in Digital Humanities at Ca’ Foscari University, he is a digital humanist at the service of corporate cultural heritage. He collaborates in the digital transformation process of the Italgas Archive and works on the maintenance and development of digitisation machines and algorithms for automatic post production.

Katya Corvino

Head of Heritage Lab Italgas, she was also responsible for Corporate Social Responsibility at Italgas. Graduated in Political Science with a Master’s degree in Business Administration, for 30 years in the Eni Group, then Snam and finally Italgas, she has gained 20 years’ experience in the field of relations with institutions and the territory. For 7 years she was responsible for Relations with Local Authorities in the Snam group. Over the years she has also dealt with relations with European institutions as Snam’s representative for the European Union in Brussels.

Daniela Marendino

With twenty years of experience as a professional archivist, she has worked in public, private and corporate archives. She is the curator of the collections of the Italgas Historical Archive, where she oversees the preservation of the documentary heritage and the preservation of the company museum collections, the Library and the Emeroteca, as well as the valorisation of the historical heritage of the Italgas Group companies. She monitors and manages the flow of documents in the historical and current archives, preparing preservation lists and procedures for discarding them.

Giovanni Michetti

Associate Professor of Archivistics at the University of Rome ‘La Sapienza’, he has also taught at the University of Urbino and the University of British Columbia. An expert in digital archives, he deals with document management, descriptive models, digital preservation and new technologies applied to archives. He is chairman of the ‘Archives and document management’ sub-committee in UNI (the Italian standards body) and represents Italy in some ISO working groups on archives and document management. He is a member of the executive committee of the International Council on Archives.