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The project

The Portal stems from an agreement among the General Head Office for Archives and a net of Italian Universities. The aim is to disseminate the results of a research project, which has been funded by MIUR within the PRIN 2008 program. This is focused on the architectural heritage of former Italian mental asylums and offers the resulting information to a wide public of scholars in a number of disciplinary fields, but also to public and private bodies, which are interested in their preservation and enhancement. Approachable through different research paths, the Portal opens the access to a complete documentation of former mental asylums and of public psychiatric mental hospitals on Italian land. It carries historic information about the origin and the conversion of the buildings and about the professionals involved in those projects, with cross-references to bibliographical and, mainly, archival sources and data concerning their consistency and state of conservation, illustrated by graphic and photographic surveys. Further, it allows to access drawings, photographs and images of the period, and rare documents and texts. The aim is to restore the memory of a very significant page of Italian architectural and urban history (but, also, of medical, social, institutional and psychiatric history) and to provide communities and local institutions with the correct tools to acknowledge the value of a cultural resource with great potentials, but often neglected or bound to alteration or destruction.

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