The ARCH Project: Archival Research & Cultural Heritage
Τhe Archive of Socìetas Raffaello Sanzio
The Research Project
The research project The Archive of Socìetas Raffaello Sanzio runs under the leadership of Dr Eleni Papalexiou and Dr Avra Xepapadakou in Italy, Greece and other European countries. It aims to conduct primary research in the field of theatre genetics and cultural documentation, focusing on the artistic work of the Italian theatre company Socìetas Raffaello Sanzio. Research on the artistic oeuvre of the company is oriented along two axes: comprehensive study and analysis of invaluable primary materials, and the organizational tasks required for the documentation, digitization and diffusion of those materials.
More than two hundred thousand (200,000) items have already been classified, recorded and digitized. As a result of the intensive and thorough documentation work, the Italian ministry of Culture declared the theatre archive of the Socìetas Raffaello Sanzio to be of “major historical interest and importance”. Its valuable contents document the work of one of the most important theatre groups of the international avant-garde. [Ministero dei beni e delle attività culturali e del turismo, Soprintendenza Archivista dell’Emilia-Romagna, Ref.n. 2152-24.08.2015].
The archiving project emerged in three phases. The first of these was Archivio, a two-year initiative under Dr Eleni Papalexiou and Dr Avra Xepapadakou, made possible by the endorsement and financial resources of the University of Crete, and supported by a team of undergraduate students in theatre studies. In the first months of 2012 this small research team began their collaboration with Claudia Castellucci and the other members of the Socìetas Raffaello Sanzio. By the close of 2013, they had completed the classification of a considerable part of the company’s source materials.
The second phase (2014-2015) marked the development of a research
proposal submitted within the framework of the European Union-funded action “Aristeia II”, under the acronym A.R.C.H. (Archival Research & Cultural Heritage). An international scholarly committee evaluated this proposal and selected it for funding at the start of 2014. Hosted by the University of Athens, the ARCH project was then implemented by a research team of twenty four participants. The team comprised lecturers, researchers, graduate and undergraduate students from across various academic institutions.
Today, the documentation team hosts new members and continues its archiving work under the auspices of Socìetas, which stands at the heart of this undertaking. It closely collaborates with academic institutions in the field of performing arts and archival research. A new E.U. Project, CR.E.ARCH (Creative European Archives as Innovative Cultural Hubs) in the framework of the "Creative Europe" 2018-2021 Programme supports the escalation and completion of this work.
The Research Project runs in Italy, Greece and other European countries, and aims to conduct primary research in the field of theatre studies.