Scientific Collections of the Architecture Department
The Benfratello Legacy, already included in the Department of Design and Construction Building, preserves archive materials and the Salvatore Benfratello’s Library. Benfratello (Palermo 1881-1953) was an engineer and architect, as well as holder of the chair of Technical Architecture in the Royal School of Application for Engineers of the University of Pisa (from 1920) and in the Palermo’s one. The materials donated at the beginning of Sixties by his son Guglielmo to the Faculty of Engineering, consist of about thirty projects and as many series of various subject for a total of more than 400 drawings (mainly in pencil and ink but also in charcoal and watercolor). There are also several dozen architecture prints, notebooks and photographs of architectures, while the library heritage contains 550 volumes and 900 booklets belonging to 22 series of architecture and fine arts magazines.
The Caronia Roberti Fund, the Giuseppe Caronia Fund and the Antonio Zanca’s ones come from the Department of History and Project in Architecture. They collect documentary and bibliographic materials from the archives and libraries of Antonio Zanca (Palermo 1861-1958), Salvatore Caronia Roberti (Palermo 1887-1970) and Giuseppe Caronia (Palermo 1915- Rome 1994). They are three architects and engineers from Palermo who have played essential roles in the project culture of italian contemporary age.
Caronia Roberti Fund
The Caronia Roberti Fund has been donated in 1992 by the Salvatore Caronia Roberti’s sons: Giuseppe and Vittorio. The Drawings Collection includes 1687 graphic works of various sizes, collected in 193 series, including pencil, ink, colors and charcoal drawings with different kind of supports. The Photographic Collection consists of 953 photographs grouped into 128 series. This collection also includes some plaster models of three noble chapels.
Giuseppe Caronia Fund
The Giuseppe Caronia Fund contains archive materials donated by the Caronia family in 1995. The collection consists of a thousand of drawings and heliographic copies of different sizes, collected in 64 series. In addition to a considerable collection of photographs, the fund also holds a big part of the Giuseppe Caronia’s Library.
Antonio Zanca Fund
The Antonio Zanca Fund contains archive materials and a collection of volumes and booklets donated in 1997 by the Zanca family. There are 2513 drawings, 13 notebooks, 194 folders (with counts, correspondences, and various reports) and some series of photographs, as well as printed texts.
The Gagliardi Collection comes from the Department of History and Project in Architecture and preserves 24 pencil and ink drawings on medium sized paper, coming from the Di Blasi and Genovesi Collections. These drawings constitute a valuable series of project works related to the architectural production of Rosario Gagliardi (Syracuse 1698 - Noto 1762).
Drawing Cabinet Collection
The Drawing Cabinet Collection comes from the Department of Representation, Knowledge, Figuration and Transformation of the Built/Natural Environment. It is composed by some collections of ornamental drawing boards, mainly published in 19th century, collections of drawings and wooden models of architectures, architectonical details as well as plaster sculptural elements.
Basile and Ducrot Collections
The Basile and Ducrot Collections contain the Basile Fund (formerly Basile Endowment) and the Ducrot Fund. The first one consists of various materials coming from the Archive and the Library of the two architects: Giovan Battista Filippo Basile (Palermo 1825-1891) and his son Ernesto Basile (Palermo 1857-1932). The latter fund consists of the Archive and Library of the Ducrot furniture industry in Palermo. In the fifties the University of Palermo has received the Basile’s documentary material directly from Roberto Basile, Ernesto’s son.
Subsequently, two other funds were added to the Basile Endowment: in 1971 the documentary materials from the Archive and Library of Ducrot company (acquired during a bankruptcy auction banned from the Palermo’s Court in 1970) and in 1992 the Educational Tables Fund. They were made in the 1880s by Michelangelo Giarrizzo under the direction of G.B. F. Basile, on supports of jute canvas of m. 2,37x1,92 and placed originally in the Aula Magna of the former Royal School for Engineers and Architects of Palermo.
The Basile Fund includes the Collections of Drawings, Photographs, Documents and the Library. The latter collects 2915 examples of volumes and booklets collections of specialized periodicals. The Drawings Collection consists of 2288 drawings with different sizes and techniques, made on different supports.
The Ducrot Fund includes the photographic collection of the furniture production, complete furnishings and specific furnitures, the documentation of factories and production phases (for a total of about 4000 photographic printings and ust over a thousand photographic plates). There are also the Collection of the Technical Office’s Projects, the Catalogue Collection and the Library.
Models Collection of the Department of Design and Construction Building
To these collections, should be added those of the former Royal School of Application for Engineers and Architects and those already in the possession of the Department of Design and Construction Building. The first is the collection of real decorative plaster models (some of them made by Gaetano Geraci for Ernesto Basile’s architectures ). The second one contains the wooden model of Alessandro Antonelli’s project for the Turin Synagogue and the Collection of Structures Models consisting of 89 scale reconstructions of constructional details.
The Pozzetto Fund consists in archive materials owned by the architectural historian Marco Pozzetto (Lubiana 1925 – Trieste 2006), donated by his sons, Barbara and Luca, to the Architecture Department of the University of Palermo in 2013, as well as the collections of his private library (just over 3000 pieces).
With the unification of all these documentary and library materials, the Architecture Departments has started a first phase of a program aimed to create a dynamic research structure in the university archival sector, not only for the mere preservation of legacies or donations (archives and documents, libraries and photo libraries, models and relief maps etc.) but also in a proactive dimension of a constant study and integrated consultation, according to scientific criteria, also trying to acquire other architecture and engineering archives.