The complexity of the tasks performed by a multinational industrial company in over a century is clearly visible in the documented network of the Olivetti Archive Heritage.
The Olivetti Historic Archive is not simply a substantial part but also an important part of the documented heritage preserved by the Associazione Archivio Storico Olivetti and consists of millions of documents from a range of sources (company bodies, individuals) and boasts a variety of documents (manuscripts, reports, correspondence, publications, projects, drawings, posters, photographs, audio and video tapes, magazines, books).
Taking into account that the collection and preservation was only started up between 1984 and 1985, namely around 80 years after the company was founded, some historical documentation was inevitably lost yet the quantity and quality of the documented heritage is quite remarkable and is an irreplaceable investigative tool into the extensive history of Olivetti together with the profound changes taking place in the industrial and social environment. From the first factory drawing in 1895 (without mentioning certain letters concerning printed writing in 1808) up to documents and catalogue sheets from more recent years and moving onto famous products such as Lettera 22, Divisumma 24, Elea 9003, Programma 101, Personal Computer M24, etc., these documents testify to the history of an industry that has had a profound impact on our nation’s economy, technology and culture for over a century.
The second important set of documents deposited by the Fondazione Adriano Olivetti (Adriano Olivetti Foundation) should be added to this heritage: here we are referring to archives owned by the Foundation, namely those of Camillo, Adriano and others in the Olivetti Family as well as other archives entrusted to the Foundation and preserved by the Associazione Archivio Storico Olivetti concerning the archive of the Architect Ludovic Quaroni and part of the George Friedmann archive.
In addition are other collections that the Olivetti Historic Archive Association is holding on deposit from other organisations and people, especially:
- Trade Union Organisations: documents of company agreement reports, leaflets, typescripts and studies from worker organisations who operated in the Olivetti factories
- Ex-Olivetti Employees: documents, notes and objects produced by Olivetti workers, often “rescued” from being discarded that have been entrusted to the care of the Association
- Associazione Archivio Storico Olivetti: collecting association status documentation
Download the detailed archive heritage document (PDF)