Testata sito Biblioteca Gino Bianco
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Opuscoli mazziniani
Prima guerra mondiale
Andrea Caffi
Nicola Chiaromonte
"L'Unità" di Salvemini
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le carte di Caffi
Quaderni Caffi
Moravia a Caffi
Rosselli(?) a Renzo Giua
Lettere di Faravelli
voci da ascoltare
Nicola Chiaromonte ricordato dagli amici
Alex Langer ad Assisi
Vittorio Foa: ricordare
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fondo Schiavi (biblioteca Saffi, Forlì)

About us

Returning to the past - To reflect on the present

Interno della biblioteca

The origins of the Library
The idea of setting up a library, which would also be open to the public, started to become a realistic possibility when one of its founders, Gino Bianco, a journalist and militant socialist, bequeathed his personal archives to the Foundation (which already owned a substantial collection of texts on the Holocaust). The new archives added many important books on political culture; among them was a comprehensive collection of texts on the British labour movement and on the Socialist International, as well as a series of unedited manuscripts by the significant, if little known, intellectual, Andrea Caffi (a militant, libertarian socialist, who was imprisoned by the Tsarist, Leninist and Nazi regimes). There were also approximately two hundred rare issues of the anti-fascist weekly Giustizia e Libertà, dating from the years of the Spanish Civil War. It was Miriam Rosenthal Chiaromonte who subsequently gave further encouragement to the idea of setting up a library. She donated a complete collection of the American journal Politics (which is rarely available in Italy) for which Hannah Arendt, Simone Weil and Albert Camus wrote, among others. Miriam also gave a collection of books originally belonging to Andrea Caffi, and finally, on her death, she bequeathed a substantial part of her husband Nicola’s personal archives to the Foundation.

Gino Bianco
Gino BiancoGino Bianco (1932-2005) was a researcher in the Institute of Modern and Contemporary History at the University of Genoa from 1956 to 1960. Subsequently, he was a writer and editor for the journal Critica Sociale (edited by Giuseppe Faravelli), and, from 1964-1967, he managed the History unit of the Centre for Social and Economic Studies (CESES) in Milan. On moving to London, where he lived for twenty years, Gino Bianco became a Fellow at the Centre for Contemporary European Studies, University of Sussex, and a researcher for the Study department of the Socialist International. He was correspondent for the newspaper l’Avanti! and for the radio news programme GR-3 of RAI, the Italian state radio and television company. He then worked for the Milan-based newspaper Il Giornale (edited by Indro Montanelli and Enzo Bettiza). On his return to Italy in 1987 and as foreign correspondent for GR-3, Gino Bianco reported on and covered the break-up of Eastern Europe, in particular the fall of the Berlin wall, the revolutions in Poland and Czechoslovakia, the fall of Ceausescu and the crisis in the Balkans, as well as the first Gulf war.He also wrote essays and articles on modern history for several jounals, including: Movimento Operaio e Socialista, Mondo Operaio, Mondo (ed. Marco Pannunzio), Tempo Presente (ed. Ignazio Silone and Nicola Chiaromonte), and the London-based magazine Survey (edited by Walter Laqueur and Leo Labedz).Gino Bianco edited a collection of essays on the industrial revolution in England and on pre-Marxist socialism, published by Einaudi, and wrote a book on the British Labour party in the inter-war years, published by Nuova Italia. In addition, he wrote a biography of Andrea Caffi, published by Lerici, and a book about the life and times of Nicola Chiaromonte, published by Lacaita.

Photo: Gino Bianco (left) with Danilo Dolci in London (1959).

Fondo Gino Bianco

The role of the Library
The Library is primarily concerned with:
The problem of memory, with particular reference to the genocides of the twentieth century, commencing with the Holocaust. Its main objective is to render this memory ‘alive’ so that its crucial importance is recognised, especially among younger generations.A reflection on what we have called ‘the other tradition’ – pertaining to the non-Marxist tradition of the socialist workers’ movement. In this respect, the Library is particularly interested in the militant journals of the twentieth century (‘minority’ rather than mainstream publications) with a view to promoting knowledge and understanding, especially among youth, as well as reflection and actualization.The issue of the rights of citizenship in Italy and in Europe, as well as of human rights in the world. In addition, a particular focus is given to practices of good citizenship, based on the democratic participation of citizens, as well as to general social, demographic and geopolitical problems linked to citizenship, and to the healthy functioning of democracies.

Si ringrazia per la traduzione Miriam Bianco.
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