The Centro studi Piero Gobetti was founded in 1961 on the initiative of Gobetti's wife, Ada Prospero, his son and daughter-in-law, Paolo and Carla, and by a number of his friends including Felice Casorati, Giulio Einaudi, Alessandro Passerin d'Entrevès and Franco Venturi. In January, 1972, a decree issued by the President of the Republic, Saragat, accorded legal status to the Center and officially approved its bylaws. The Center is now guided by a Board of Directors whose members are Bianca Guidetti Serra (President), Alberto Cabella (Vice President), Ersilia Alessandrone Perona, Michelangelo Bovero, Gastone Cottino, Alessandro Galante Garrone, Claudio Pavone, Cesare Pianciola, and Franco Sbarberi. Norberto Bobbio acts as Honorary President.
The Center, which is located in the Gobetti home in Via Fabro, 6, in Turin, has sought to create an open space for study and research. The Center's main function is the conservation of historical documents and providing them for consultation. The book collection contains over 50,000 titles related to 20th century history and politics; an additional 3,800 titles can be found in the newspaper and periodical section. The Center also houses part of Franco Antonicelli's personal collection as well as the complete collections of Piero Gobetti and Ada Prospero.
The Center is in the final stages of acquiring Norberto Bobbio's entire personal research collection, which consists of approximately 30,000 titles including 17,000 books, 8,000 pamphlets, newspapers and journals, and single issues and complete collections of periodicals. The entire collection has been catalogued and is now housed at the Center. It provides an invaluable resource for the study of contemporary philosophical, juridical and political culture, as well as a means of gaining familiarity with the scholarly interests and working method of Bobbio.
In addition to the acquisition of this important library collection, the Center has undertaken the ambitious project of creating an on-line bibliography of the complete works of Norberto Bobbio. In addition to permitting a variety of advanced bibliographic search functions, the website will also make many texts by Bobbio available for on-line consultation. It will also contain the most significant writings concerning the writer and his works. (www.erasmo.it/bobbio).
In addition to Piero and Ada Gobetti's
papers and documents which are the original nucleus of the Center studi Piero Gobetti, the historical archive also contains numerous resources for the study of 20th history, antifascism and the labor movement. Among the most important are the Franco Antonicelli Collection, the Collection of the Piedmont Consigli di gestione (workers' run councils which managed the factories of Northern Italy immediately after the end of World War II.), the Giuseppe Rapelli Collection, the Barbara Allason Collection and the Marcello Vitale Collection of works on political and social movements during the 1960s and 70s. Adjoining the historical archive collection are the photo archives (approximately 5,560 photos, negatives and photographic plates) and the recording archives (containing recordings of seminars and meetings held at the Center).
The Center has been active in a number of other initiatives, including the promotion of cultural events and historical research. Some of the cultural events promoted by the Center include exhibits (such as "The Life and Times of Piero Gobetti", often displayed in local schools), conferences, book presentations, seminars (such as "Ethics and Politics", a series of seminars organized by Norberto Bobbio between 1980 and 1996 which took an inter-disciplinary approach to the examination of issues in the history of political thought). Research promoted by the Center focuses primarily on Gobetti's thought and on the subjects to which he showed strong affinity: antifascism, democracy and the labor movement.