Named for its late founder, the Giangiacomo Feltrinelli Foundation was established in 1949 to collect, preserve and make available to scholars and interested members of the public diverse materials documenting the history of ideas, in particular those related to the development of the international labor and socialist movements. It had two prior incarnations: first as a library and then as an institute.
The Foundation has since grown to become one of Europe's foremost centers for research on economic, political and social thought and history from the 18th century to the present. Its library and archival holdings, which cover a broad disciplinary and linguistic spectrum, comprise some 200,000 rare and modern books, extensive collections of newspapers and periodicals, both historical and current, and over one million primary source materials.
Today, the Foundation works to facilitate public access to this rich patrimony, organizes workshops and summer schools for young scholars, and coordinates individual and collective research initiatives with institutions in Italy and abroad. To enable the scholarship produced to be explored with a broader audience, it hosts a range of public programs - colloquia, seminars, book presentations, exhibitions and more - and produces both printed and online publications. In addition, the Foundation is currently at work on a long-term digitization project to make available online reproductions of thousands of the most significant materials in its possession.
* Giangiacomo Feltrinelli (1926-1972) also founded the influential publishing house, Feltrinelli Editore, in 1954. Three years later, in 1957, the first Feltrinelli bookstore was opened in Pisa. Today, there are nearly 100 La Feltrinelli bookstores throughout Italy.