Wednesday, 15 February 2017
Alcide De Gasperi (1881-1954) was one of the most important statesmen in European history, recognized as the father of the Italian Republic and one of the founding fathers of Europe. Despite the rich historiography about him, many aspects of his biography are still waiting to be enlightened. Indeed, up until now, the historical analysis on De Gasperi has been based almost exclusively on institutional sources, on his published works and on his public speeches.

What is still missing is his extraordinary correspondence, which covers all the critical steps of his biography and often offers a different point of view on many events of the time. So far, only very few letters written or received by De Gasperi have been made available through anthological publications, see (De Gasperi, 1955, 1974) among others, or through the publication of the correspondence with specific people. Nevertheless, a large number of letters has not been published yet. This has paved the way to this ambitious project, coordinated by a scientific committee that brings together all the major scholars of De Gasperi, whose goal is to provide an exhaustive collection of De Gasperi’s correspondence in digital format, covering both his public and private life.

The Italian Ministry of Culture supports the project, which has been recognized as a “National Edition”. Significantly, this is the first Italian National Edition exclusively conceived through digital tools.

In this project, we provide the technical support to develop, automatically analyse and make available online the digital edition of De Gasperi’s letters. In the consortium, the DH group is the only technical partner and is therefore responsible for defining the formats for transcription and encoding of digital material, developing tools to support such tasks and implementing novel NLP and visualisation techniques to browse the data.

In 2019 the Project consortium had the honour to present the project in front of the President of the Italian Republic Sergio Mattarella (see media coverage below).

If you want to know more about the annotation and transcription tool developed for the project, see the paper  “Epistolario De Gasperi: National Edition of De Gasperi’s Letters in Digital Format” authored by Sara Tonelli, Giovanni Moretti, Rachele Sprugnoli, Stefano Malfatti and Marco Odorizzi, Proceedings of the 9th Annual Conference of the Italian Association for Humanities Computing and Digital Culture (AIUCD), 2020.

Duration: 5 years

Project coordinator: Prof. Giuseppe Tognon, Fondazione Trentina Alcide de Gasperi

Funding: Ministero dei Beni, delle Attività culturali e del Turismo