In 2011 for the 150th anniversary of the Unification of Italy, the Archive organised two major exhibitions which, with different languages and focus, aimed to tell the story of our country along its path towards unity from 1861 until today.
The exhibitions were sponsored by the Prime Minister’s Office – National Events and Ceremonies Department for the 150th anniversary of the Unification of Italy, and by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities – Executive Board for the National Archives and the Central State Archives
Copyright Italy. Patents/Trademarks/Products – 1948/1970
The exhibition retraced the years of economic and scientific reconstruction and development of Italy through the stories of people and enterprises from the Second World War to the Seventies by way of the “economic miracle”. It focused on the discoveries destined to revolutionise not only those decades, but also our future.
1948 and 1970 were the years in the historic memory of the Italians that marked the boundaries of a period of exceptional events, which began at the end of the Second World War with the gigantic efforts of reconstruction.
At the time, the nation became a place of social and cultural identity that grew around the new models of economic growth and development and the diffusion of the language of creation of a unified image of our country.
The heart of the exhibition consisted of 14 highlight objects, each of which lay at the centre of numerous possible tales. Inspired by the metaphor of the anatomical theatre, these objects were dissected, explained, illustrated, sometimes animated and given sound or lighting. These objects represented Italian copyright, the fruit and price of research, intuition and entrepreneurial ability, which have acted as the driving force behind the Made in Italy, which has materialised into a wide repertory of new products in every field.
The State Machine. The laws, men and structures that made Italy
Standing centre stage was the Unified State and its organisational structures between 1861 and 1948, and the role these structures have had in designing the outlines and contents of the new reality of our unified country.
The exhibition was divided into three parts. The first began with a historic cavalcade of the initial post-unification years until the crisis at the end of the century, which culminated in the assassination of Umberto I, Giolitti’s major reforms and the gradual presence of the State in public life, by way of the watershed of the First World War and the Fascist period, until the final tragedy of the war and the horrors of the racial laws. Then came rebirth with the Resistance and the Republic.
This was followed by a sector dedicated to “numbers”, that is to say to the statistic pictures which arose from the great inquests promoted to understand the different realities of the young State.
Finally, in an open space with a screen, film clips, touch screens, walls equipped with QR Code technology which allowed visitors to consult data bases and digital reproductions of the most important records.
The exhibition, designed for a wide public, and for young people, including the world of schools in particular, made use not only of the documentary sources conserved at the Archive, but also of other forms of memory: work tools, iconographic material and filmed documents from other museums and institutions.