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Guglielmo Giannini: a digital archive of theatre, film, entertainment and political activism

posted on 2018-01-01, 00:00 authored by Victoria DuckettVictoria Duckett
Guglielmo Giannini: a digital archive of theatre, film, entertainment and political activism


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English and Italian

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In June 2014, Sabina Ciuffini–Giannini’s granddaughter and herself a famous media presence in Italy–granted access to her family’s holdings of Guglielmo Giannini’s theatrical and political documents. This was the first time Giannini’s cache of invaluable materials was entrusted to someone outside the family. This privileged access enabled these exceptional holdings to be systematically sorted, identified, documented and digitally preserved. Because we were unable (and reluctant) to move the materials from Ciuffini’s apartment in Milan, most were scanned there. We collected roughly 7000 digitised pages from these holdings. Scanning took over two years to complete. In addition to Giannini’s family holdings, we have collected over 3000 pages consisting of plays written by Giannini and published in the review Il Dramma and other theatre magazines holdings (photographs as well as clippings) generously shared with us from the Centro Studi del Teatro Stabile in Turin issues of the magazine Kines (founded and directed by Giannini) all the surviving issues of Kines' supplement Cinema-Star, which was also founded and headed by Giannini.

Research statement

Background Guglielmo Giannini (1891–1960) was an Italian journalist, playwright, scriptwriter, theatre director, film director, and politician. Establishing the weekly broadsheet 'L'uomo qualunque' in 1944, Giannini went on to found and develop ‘qualunquismo’ as a populist political movement. Gaining 5.3% of the popular vote in 1946, Giannini became a founding member of the Italian Constituent Assembly that was tasked to write the constitution of the newly formed Italian Republic. In 2014 the researcher was granted access to the family holdings of Guglielmo Giannini’s theatrical and political documents, never before made available outside the family. The holdings were Contribution An online Omeka archive of over 10 000 pages of playscripts, cinematic treatments, political papers, and personal ephemera was built. It is the first project to make these materials available and to frame Giannini in a broad and interdisciplinary manner. Most significantly, this is the first project that enables us to include film, theatre and literature in discussions of the emergence of c.20 Italian political populism. Not only is the archive filling gaps in our knowledge of Italian cinema history, but it also initiates and develops an interdisciplinary understanding of politics, journalism, cinema and theatre Significance The researcher organised an international, interdisciplinary conference, of theatre scholars, cinema scholars, political theorists and historians where the archive enabled conversations on the nexus of cinema, theatre, journalism and politics.

Publication classification

J2 Minor original creative work

Copyright notice

[2018, Victoria Duckett]


1 x 30 slide PowerPoint Presentation 1 seminar poster .docx 1 information .docx

Related work

“Tutte le sfumature del giallo di Guglielmo Giannini,” in “Guglielmo Giannini e il giallo,” mini-dossier in “Giallo italiano,” Bianco & Nero, June 2017, 129-132


Deakin University

Place of publication

Buwood, Vic.