The Archives of the Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo di Milano preserve amongst their centuries-old shelves a documentary heritage of immense value, not just as remembrance of the Cathedral, but of the City of Milan, which over the ages has ways worked to contribute to the construction and maintenance of the Monument, its symbol and beating heart. SFRE has well understood the importance of this legacy that history has imprinted on paper and, precisely in this moment of great difficulty for places of culture, has given significant support.
Shortly before the pandemic, the Veneranda Fabbrica embarked on an ambitious digitalisation project, aimed at optimising the knowledge and the use of the historical-artistic collection preserved here: the ADAM (digital-Archiving Duomo Archive Museum) project. Thanks also to the collaboration of technical partner Mediapower srl, it has been possible to correlate the testimonies kept in the Archive with the works visible around the Cathedral and exhibited in the Duomo Museum, thus restoring the link between every detail in the Monument and their own specific background.
This fundamental project, which due to the pandemic and the prolonged closure of the Historical Complex would have risked dramatic interruption, has been able to continue its activities and advance the photographic project of the Archive's large-format drawings thanks to the support of SFRE.
Thanks to SFRE, the Veneranda Fabbrica through the ADAM system has been able to digitally acquire, catalogue, and relate to one another almost 300 architectural projects by the most important architects who managed the Cathedral's worksite in the 19th century. Giuseppe Vandoni, Pietro Pestagalli, Paolo Cesa Bianchi: they were three key players during one of the most lively and intense moments of the Cathedral's long constructive and decorative history, so much so that a Spire is named after each of them, namely one of the four imposing spires that surround the base of the tiburio, under the shadow of the Madonnina.
Digitalising these drawings means allowing for a quicker, more detailed, and less invasive consultation, in consideration of the truly considerable formats that characterise them.
First of all, the Duomo worksite, engaged on a daily basis in restoration and maintenance, has thus acquired the considerable advantage of easily having all the reports and information collected relating to past architectural renovations, therefore rendering the current planning and continuation easier and more optimised.
Digitalising also means making it more accessible and consequently enhancing our collective history, extending to everyone the opportunity of knowing and consulting each and every contribution that led to the construction of the Cathedral, international symbol of Milan.
A selection of digitised drawings are available in the gallery thanks to the contribution with SFRE.