The Fondazione 1563 per l’Arte e la Cultura, an independent body set up and administered by
Fondazione Compagnia di San Paolo, is a cultural foundation specialized in supporting research in the humanities, especially for young scholars who wish to perfect their professional education in order to pursue careers in the cultural sector.
One of the main responsibilities of the Foundation is the conservation and promotion of the Historical Archives of the Compagnia di San Paolo, which preserves material relating to its 450-year-old history. The heritage of the Archives is an important resource for the history of Piedmont and Italy; it is connected to a number of other Italian archives, and it is open not only to scholars and researchers but also to the general public.
The documentation of the Historical Archives of the Compagnia di San Paolo can be accessed and consulted easily in the Foundation’s Digital Archives and Collections. Innovative and versatile tools of research allow researchers and scholars and all those interested, in Italy and abroad, to access the digital archive and browse the archival holdings which the Foundation has made available online. The descriptions are accompanied by digital images. The archive that is accessible online comprises a total of 60,000 items, 400,000 digitized pages that can be consulted and downloaded. In this way 430 years of history are online, together with 4 libraries and a total of 10,000 volumes and 8 biographical collections.
A key element of the Foundation’s strategy is the promotion of multi-disciplinary study and research in the humanities, including research into the archives of the Compagnia, by means of publication. Since 2012 the Foundation has organised a Study Programme on the Age and the Culture of Baroque, with the annual award of advanced research grants and a specially designed programme of cultural initiatives around the theme of ‘Ancient and Modern: Paris, Rome, Turin 1680-1750’. In 2020 the Foundation has also launched a new study programme, the Turin Humanities Programme, devoted to Global History.
The Foundation has been increasingly focusing on the Digital Humanities as a fundamental tool to conduct advanced research and is currently carrying on some projects involving the digital humanities and revolving around the Historical Archives of the Compagnia di San Paolo in order to enhance the accessibility and fruition of its documents and to keep track of the past exhibitions curated by the Foundation. The Foundation coordinates and publishes series and volumes related to the Historical Archives of the Compagnia di San Paolo and to the Baroque Programme – Study programme on the Age and Culture of Baroque. The themes represented cover a very wide range of subjects – the history of art and architecture, literature, philosophy, music, as well as social and political history– from the 16th to the 20th century. The aim is to make available for scholars, universities and cultural institutions the research and other contributions which result from the work of the Foundation in promoting culture, including archives and libraries. The high quality standards of the publications are guaranteed by a qualified scientific board and peer review system.