Promoting historical archives through storytelling

Sergio Riolo, Director of ilCartastorie | museo dell'archivio storico del Banco di Napoli
Community engagement, Education, Youth oriented
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ilCartastorie is an innovative, awareness-raising museum project founded in 2016 and located within the Historical Archives of the Banco di Napoli in the city of Naples (Italy). Its objective is to promote the cultural heritage found in the archival documents and referred to European cultures between XVIth and XXth century. This is mainly achieved through traditional and multimedia storytelling in order to encourage visitors to appreciate the Archives and to create a sense of participation. 

The archives museum project entitled ilCartastorie was the result of our desire to promote and protect an important element of cultural heritage in southern Italy. It began in the year 2015 with a series of events aimed at calling attention to the existence of this important patrimony and has continued with further events of the same type with the addition of new programs encouraging community involvement. The next step included the construction of a museum within the Historical Archives as well as the inauguration in March 2016 of the multimedia exhibit and the museum itself.
The absolutely unique patrimony of the Historical Archives itself is the main focus of all of the activities carried out for the ilCartastorie Foundation. It includes 500 years’ worth of documents from the 8 ancient Neapolitan Banks in all of their successive transformations. This includes the ‘reason for payment’ found for transactions carried out for the most humble merchants to the most powerful aristocrats, and even the rulers of the entire Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. It also includes documentation of transactions between various European and extra-European countries. As a result, scholars from the USA other European countries have done their own research in the archives.

European Dimension

ilCartastorie gives its contribution to cultural heritage being a valorization model that can be applied to any kind of paper heritage (libraries and archives). Its focus on stories coming out from ancient written paper sheets is suitable to be adopted in different contexts, both at national and European level.
Moreover, ilCartastorie, in order to give its contribution to intercultural dialogue has developed projects with the Migrantour project, a European network of migrant driven intercultural routes to understand cultural diversity; in partnership with Migrantour, we have established a project that foresees the Archives narrated by migrant citizens that find and discover inside the Archives paper traces and similarities between ancient stories and their own modern stories of immigration and integration in a new Country.

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