Immagini della Libia coloniale nella fototeca dell'Istituto Italiano per l'Africa e l'Oriente
In: Quaderni di Archeologia della Libya: 24, 2022
Images of Libya in the Colonial Period from the Photographic Collection of the Istituto Italiano per l’Africa e l’Oriente (Italian Institute for Africa and the East)
This contribution details the manner in which the photographic collection of the Italian Institute for Africa and the East (IsIAO) was formed (currently held in the National Central Library of Rome). It also provides an analytical summary of a section (the series “Album”) of the formidable documentary materials of the Fondo Libia. This paper presents the preliminary results of a still in progress research. Within what Silvana Palma rightly defined as the “most extensive visual memory of Italian colonialism”, this section of the Fondo Libia – comprising roughly 20,000 images – is presented in three main thematic-chronological groups. The first, “Thematic volumes, 1910-1939”, includes 30 albums of photographs of extremely heterogenous subjects, from military topics to urban and rural landscapes, archaeological ruins to scientific expeditions. The second group, entitled “The Second World War. The Libyan front, 1939-1942” which, with its 55 volumes represents the bulk of the documentation relating to Libya, illustrates the operations on the Libyan-Egyptian front. The third group of materials contains 16 “Large Format albums”, each of which deals with a specific theme: public works, military infrastructure, visits of prominent persons and agricultural colonisation. Included in this group are two albums relating to the main monuments and excavations of Libyan archaeological sites. In the concluding remarks, the Author provides a quantitative estimate of the various elements comprising the Fondo Libia: military subjects form the majority of the documents, followed by rural landscapes, public works and documents relating to exhibitions and photographs of Italian and Libyan figures.
Parole chiave/Keywords: Libia coloniale, fototeca IsIAO, Museo Coloniale, storia militare, paesaggi libici Colonial Libya, photographic collection of the IsIAO, Colonial Museum, military history, Libyan landscapes.