A year ago, on 30 May 2016, in the presence of the Italian Culture Minister Franceschini, the Veneranda Fabbrica opened the doors of its Renewed Archives to the city. The rooms of the Library and the storage vaults for the preservation of photographic documents and drawings, splendidly refurbished, just a few metres from the Duomo, reveal an immense heritage of documents bearing witness to the long history of the building of the Duomo and of the changes that have taken place in the city around its centuries-old building site.
During this year, many activities and initiatives have taken place in the Archives. While the busy work constantly continued at the service of the operations of the Fabbrica, first and foremost those of the restoration projects, numerous Italian and foreign research workers arrived in the magnificent setting of the Sala dei Milanesi to consult the documents and requests were received from all over the world for images from the Photographic Archives. Great occasions for cultural appreciation and promotion were also created: the Inauguration of the Renewed Archives and the documentary exhibition, Il Duomo, la Città, la Storia (30.05.2016– 24.06.2016); the presentation by the Politecnico di Milano Il corpus dei disegni del Duomo di Milano (23.06.2016), the meeting and exhibition of the Gaffurio manuscripts Note d’Archivio: cantando dai Libroni (14.10.2016) and lastly the photographic exhibition 100 anni di vita intorno al Duomo (24.11.2016-28.02.2017).
Satisfaction for the work achieved in this year is combined with the remembrance full of gratitude for Professor Gianni Baratta, Director of the Veneranda Fabbrica who sadly passed away on 23 March this year: he was a tireless and passionate promoter of “Open Culture”, the opening up and transmission of the whole of the extraordinary documentary heritage preserved by the Veneranda Fabbrica in its Archives, a unicum on the international archive scene, a true memory and diary not only of the city, but of the Milanese people who took part in and enabled the building of the Cathedral, the international symbol of Milan.