La Biennale di Venezia
Library, Venice – Archive, Porto Marghera

Historical Archive of Contemporary Arts

“The Historical Archive is the place where the memories and documents pass through, but it is also the place of the archive of our future” (Paolo Baratta).
The Historical Archive of Contemporary Arts (ASAC) collects, catalogues, increases and improves the conservational and documentary assets of La Biennale di Venezia, collected from 1895 to the present.

The ASAC directly promotes exhibitions and collaborates with the various departments of La Biennale in the organisation of events. The promotion of the archival collections is also carried out outside the Foundation, through the circulation of documents and works of art lent to Italian and foreign institutions. The ASAC includes the Historical Archive and the Library.



Exhibitions and activities

The initiatives at the Portego of Ca’ Giustinian

A programme of temporary exhibitions made with materials from the Biennale Archive has been active since 2010. These exhibitions display fragments of history of La Biennale di Venezia, and are hosted in the Portego of Ca’ Giustinian wth free admission.

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Virtual exhibitions

Three exhibitions on the history of La Biennale

Amarcord - Fragments of memory from the Historical Archive of La Biennale, 1895-1999; The Idea of the Body - Merce Cunningham, Steve Paxton, Julian Beck, Meredith Monk and Simone Forti from the Archives of La Biennale 1960-1976, and Registe alla Biennale - Biennale Teatro 1934-2016, are now available in digital format.

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Funds and collections

All archival materials

Through its collections, the Biennale Archive provides to both students and researchers a number of services concerning the documentation, the research and experimentation in the area of contemporary arts as well as in the disciplines of archive-keeping and librarianship.

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History of the ASAC

Since 1928: inauguration of the Historical Institute of Contemporary Art at the Ducal Palace ...
... until 2020: the library collections at the Library at Giardini and archival funds at VEGA in Porto Marghera
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