Intangible Heritage and Industrial Tourism. How to open the company archives to the public?
The ERIH Italy meeting, this year, will take place at the Dalmine Foundation which joined the network in 2018. The meeting, which does not want to be a formal re-edition of previous events (Prato in 2016, Brescia in 2017), intends to address a new and highly original issue concerning the enhancement of the intangible heritage.
The chosen theme was born from the observation that many Italian sites of ERIH have a precious documentary core that takes on different roles from time to time: sometimes as company archives, other times, instead, as documentation centers, or libraries, etc.
Beyond the organizational forms, these documentary structures represent irreplaceable stores of memory that are increasingly called upon to play an active role in raising awareness of industrial heritage issues, with reference to a wider audience than that of professional scholars and specialists.
The meeting in Dalmine is therefore an opportunity for a first confrontation between the members of ERIH Italia to make known and share the multiplicity of experiences of using archival-documentary material for educational activities aimed at schools, to organize exhibitions, to arouse opportunities for discussion and debate, to ensure that the "deposited" memory turns into a living force to attract, through innovative forms of communication, new audiences (so far not sufficiently motivated to feel an interest in industrial heritage).
The meeting next June in Dalmine will have to be a forum to compare the experiences made and to solicit a common reflection around two fundamental objectives:
- How archives can become a tool to promote and expand industrial tourism;
- How archives can arouse, in visitors and in the general public, a full perception of the European dimension of the industrial heritage and strengthen the ties that bind Italian sites to other European sites (with regard to the technologies used, the innovations adopted, the corporate forms, to export markets, exchanges of technical personnel, etc.)