“The Bodoni Museum Foundation aims to promote the figure of the illustrious printer Giambattista Bodoni (1740-1813) whose activity was based in Parma, and hence to promote the Bodoni collections (printing press and materials, publications, correspondence and much else), belonging to the Complesso Monumentale della Pilotta and conserved at the Palatina Library”

Statute, art. 2, Aims of the Foundation


Faithful to its statutory mission, in particular over the course of the last decade, the Bodoni Museum Foundation has set in motion, carried out and financed various projects aimed at solving the urgent problems inherent in the cataloguing and conservation of the Bodoni collections. Indeed, until 2008, correct quantification and exact descriptions were lacking for some material (books and objects relating to Bodoni printing). Some of these long-standing projects have been concluded, while others continue due to periodic private and state funding.


Typographic and type casting material from the Bodoni printing office(punches, matrices, type casting tools, etc).

Between July 2008 and December 2009 the cataloging of the tools from Bodoni’s Printing Office took place (punches, matrices, etc. for a total of about 70.000 pieces). At the same time, a digital photo campaign was carried out to record every single objetc. The indexing was compliant with applicable ICCD (Central Institute for Cataloguing and Documentation) norms and employed the PST (Technical Scientific Patrimony) record developed by the same Institute; it used SiGEC (General Information System for Cataloguing) state software – a national system for acquisition and integrated management of knowledge of Italian cultural patrimony, with ICCD as its institutional manager. At the same time, the photographic digital campaign was conducted.
Costanza Marchesini was in charge of the cataloging; photographic campaign of the Fotocine Center of Parma. di Parma.


Bodoni publications

The Bodoni publications found in the archives of the Palatina Library in the SBN Collective Catalogue (Sebina OpenLibrary software) are being listed and catalogued on line, libro in mano (“book in hand”). Beginning with the publications exhibited in the museum, the cataloguing process continues in chronological order, embracing the many works scattered in the library’s various collections.
The aim was not only to list all the publications but also to make it possible to update and integrate them in the main bibliographic catalogue for Bodoni publications, which is to say the by now dated Compendiosa bibliografia di edizioni bodoniane edited by H.C. Brooks, Florence, Barbèra, 1927.
The job of listing publications had reached the year 1813, that of Bodoni’s death. It continued with loose leaf and minor material, as yet unfinished. The additions made to the updated catalogue, currently being worked on, will be listed both numerically, as a large number of publications have been added to those already listed by Brooks (some of which are currently only listed in the Palatina Library), and by bibliographic description.
The new listing will no doubt stimulate research into Giambattista Bodoni, his printing and editorial activities, single publications that he produced and the inheritance collected by his widow in the twenty years following the death of Bodoni himself.

Catalogatori incaricati: Cristina Doronzo, Michele Piani, Raffaella D’Aiuto.



Publications and correspondence

All exhibited publications and letters constituting Bodoni’s correspondence have been digitalized with the double aim of promoting awareness of Bodoni’s patrimony and ensuring the best conditions for public use, while also providing for their optimum conservation. A hundred and fifteen Bodoni publications and the first part of the correspondence were digitalized, the latter then completed as the result of a campaign financed by the Palatina Library (circa 12,000 letters to Giambattista Bodoni). The relative metadata has been produced respecting the standards of the Biblioteca Digitale Italiana (BDI) and the MAG-Teca of the ICCU, the repository where all the data is stored. Digitalization was coordinated and carried out alongside that of cataloguing, so that it was not just a photographic campaign but a genuine “project.”

 To Giambattista Bodoni,
esteemed typographer, […]
I wish glory to the other noble minds;
but by now you have immortal fame.

Ugo Foscolo
Milano, 28 agosto 1802


Type casting-mould patrimony

In 2009 the foundation launched a campaign for the restoration of Bodoni’s printing tools (with the exception of the matrices) for the sum of 10,000 euros. As a result, in collaboration with the Association of Friends of the Palatina Library and Bodoni Museum of Parma (Associazione Amici della Biblioteca Palatina e del Museo Bodoniano di Parma), they raised funds through a sponsorship campaign entitled “Adopt a character” with the aim of restoring single series of Bodoni punches – in a precarious state of conservation, oxidised and stored in inappropriate containers – and providing them with a purpose-made polycarbonate box for correct storage, and restoring the original wooden boxes as well.
Various companies, associations and private individuals took part in the restoration of 44 alphabet letters.

We wish to thank the following for their support:
BARILLA G. e R. Fratelli S.p.A.
COMFORT ZONE – Davines S.p.A
Consiglio Notarile di Parma
Lions Club distretto 108 tb
Lions Club Parma Farnese
Inner Wheel Parma Est
SELFIN Servizi finanziari Srl
SIAV S.P.A. Benicelli Ferretti Lilia
Canali Carlo Maria
Chiari Giorgio
Dalla Tana Arturo
Micheli Annamaria e Michele
Micheli Marco
Pecorini Loredana

Re-organisation of the Bodoni archive

Until 2008 the valuable papers in the Bodoni archive were conserved in boxes in no precise order and hence they were hard to locate. Now that they have been inventoried and organised they are available for use by researchers. The archive has been subdivided into the Fondo Bodoni (personal and business papers), Fondo Officina and Fondo Margherita Dall’Aglio Bodoni.