ArDP, Women’s Archive in Piedmont (Archivio delle Donne in Piemonte), is a non-profit association, which seeks to conserve and maintain alive the women’s history and memory as well as the women’s/feminist movement in the Piedmont region with regards to the national and international dimension.
Knowing the necessity of restoring the visibility to the women’s history in the individual and collective dimension and being aware of the serious risk of documents or books being scattered, ArDP is established as a place of collect and conservation (in which writings, works of art, testimony given by particulars, associations and/or organizations can be found) and as a virtual network element between other archives and other realities which, at the regional level and not only, work to promote the women’s history as a whole.
ArDP has a double target: to restore and protect but also to increase the study and research in order to keep alive the link with the “women of the past” and to keep stimulating new process of women’s participation.
First of all, ArDP is a place of connection and of network development; the archive consists of women of various backgrounds and who come from various cities. The archive relies on a scientific board of researchers who direct the activities according to the various fields on women and gender studies.
ArDP united with the Turin Women’s House (Casa delle donne di Torino) and with the Studies and documentation centre feminine thought (Centro studi e documentazione pensiero femminile) in 2016. They have launched a new project by establishing “Láadan, Centro culturale e sociale delle donne”. Feminist sci-fi and the novel Native Tongue by Suzette Elgin have inspired that name.
The Láadan federation has reunited the activities, the archival heritage and libraries from the various associations that composed it. It aims at giving life to a place of sharing and of intergenerational exchange of cultures and knowledge related to women and feminisms and the federation is dedicated to gender, feminists and queer studies.
The new headquarter, which is in Via Vanchiglia 3 Turin, contains archives and libraries as well as research and conference rooms.
Why did we create this association?
The association was born on 7th June 2006 as a result of a participative course between particulars, associations and institutions. They had already constituted a Promoting Committee in 2005 to establish an archive dedicated to women. It stemmed from a reflexion about women’s role in history, their representation and visibility and how to carry on the memory/ies.
The political, social, professional and cultural women’s commitment has often been different than men’s and sometimes less formal and more intermittent. Therefore, it is more difficult to find an appropriate representation from institutional archives to Trade Unions, parties and publishing houses archives… Moreover, in these same archives, the documents about women are, most of the time, hidden by a lack of sensitivity to gender.
A perspective that takes into account this dimension can make re-emerge a broader and more articulated sense of history by recovering information that would not be accessible with a traditional data processing.
If the women’s history is hidden, a fundamental component is missing to understand the present; this is why it seems to be of common interest not only to preserve its memory but also to make it act as a public good.
- Women’s archive (Archival collections, ordered and inventoried, Archival collections that are being reorganized, New acquisitions, Our inventories)
- Cultural initiatives (lectures, seminars, presentations)
- Studies (publications and researches)