Heritage Lab Italgas
The Heritage Lab is our laboratory of knowledge, experimentation and especially all innovation applied to historical and cultural heritage. Two centuries of history look to the future thanks to digitization.
IItalgas, in partnership with the Fondazione Giorgio Cini, has transformed its Museum and Historical Archive in Turin into a laboratory equipped with the most advanced technologies for the 2D and 3D digitisation of the historical, industrial, artistic and cultural heritage that the Group has collected and safeguarded over its almost two centuries of history.
Heritage Lab aims to be a unique model in Italy of an archive digitisation laboratory whose purpose is not only the recovery and systematisation of the historical archive of a large company, but also to transform its past into big data and share it with the community.
The Heritage Lab web site is online
Heritage Lab is a physical and virtual meeting place, where we want to bring out the narrative potential of our archive.
Big Data from the past
The Italgas Historical Archive consists of an original core of one linear kilometre of documents, with a planned extension of up to three kilometres. Documents dating from 1288 (most of which on parchment) to 1990 can be found among the papers relating to the activities of the original companies, subsidiaries and associated companies. An immense pool of big data from the past ready to be made available to historians and researchers worldwide. The historical library and the newspaper library, highly specialised in technical and scientific papers, are also home to works dating from the early 17th century to the present day.
Examination of this ever-growing heritage allows us to reconstruct not only the history of the Company and of the people who have worked there, but above all the links with key events in Italy and with the world of energy, the role played not only in the Italian industrialisation process but also in urban development and public services.
Through collaboration with the Fondazione Giorgio Cini in Venice and ARCHiVe, the foundation’s centre dedicated to digital humanities, the Italgas Archive will expand its opportunities for national and international collaboration, developing new skills in the digitisation of cultural heritage. The aim is to use the tools of technology to enhance Italgas’ heritage: from the Historical Library to the Newspaper Library, from the Museum Collections to documentation of the archaeological assets found during the laying of the gas infrastructures.
Inside the Heritage Lab, the archive is transformed into a laboratory, becoming a new space open to the public, where visitors can experience the significance of digitisation first-hand on a journey that also takes them into the very heart of the documents and operations. The digitised materials will be available in the “Data Square” and accessible to the public. This heritage includes documents, photographs, works of art, ancient books, journals and objects. The laboratories will use a series of high-precision, high-speed scanners capable of scanning approximately 2000 documents in 8 hours.