One Century of Yearbooks
The on-line edition of the historical series of the Yearbooks of the University of Pavia is unique among European universities. It allows instant consultation of the principal source of one centurys research activity by the University of Pavia. This initiative is aimed at spreading knowledge of the heritage of our cultural institutions and also seeks to promote awareness of the traditions of our athenaeum. We hope that this will encourage the production of other digital editions of documentary sources concerning the history of universities.
The first Yearbook published by the Royal University of Pavia was merely a booklet dated 1859: the provinces of Lombardy had just been liberated from Austrian domination and the nation-building of the new Kingdom of Italy had hardly begun. Starting from that year and for over a century Yearbooks were published bringing together an extraordinarily rich legacy of data and documentation, which is interesting and significant both in terms of the evolution of the institutional dynamics of Pavia University and for the history of its scientific community.
Over this period, the Yearbooks changed in regard to their aims and increased their scope. In the first decade 1860-1870 they were little more than modest practical-organizational guides for didactic activities and a time-table of courses. However, from 1870 they became the instrument for a concerted effort at self-representation. Year by year, excepting the two world wars when publication was suspended, the Yearbooks became a summa of the life of the academic community: from the liberal era to Fascism and the Republic, the Yearbooks reflected the collective biography of teachers and students, focusing on their scientific and educational policies and detailing their interaction with different cultural and political environments.
The first Yearbooks printed by Bizzoni in Pavia consisted of nearly 40 pages. By the end of the 1880s each volume consisted of more than 200 pages and contained texts of great literary and scientific worth such as speeches by the Rectors and the inaugural lectures of professors in different disciplines. But they also included lists of students enrolled and graduates, and informed readers about opportunities for scholarships. They also published lecturers academic bibliographies and offered a complete outline of course options, becoming more and more detailed as they reflected innovation and the increasing specialization of knowledge. Finally, in these pages we can consult the scientific biographies of late professors and scholars, written by their former colleagues and students.
One hundred years later, in 1959 - 60, the Yearbook, printed in Pavia by Mario Ponzio, consisted of 526 pages. This edition included an articulated statistical section - with detailed charts detailing student information, indicating year, faculty and gender, whether enrolled within or outside the course time frames. Data was provided on enrolments, foreign students and their origin, and included details of the degrees taken, schools of specialization, not to mention examination results. They drew a comprehensive picture of the universitys state of affairs and its properties. Photographic images were also published, for instance: Plinio Fraccaro's portrait, a photograph of the recently deceased Rector, together with his inaugural lecture. The Yearbooks contained a vast amount of information focusing not only on the institutional authorities of the athenaeum, but also illustrating the functions and activities of academic organizations such as the colleges and student recreational and cultural associations.
These Yearbooks are reproduced page by page as images and not as text. To facilitate consultation the original index pages are included for every year. When a volume is selected, the first page that appears is the original index, if it is present. This obviously helps to search the contents of each volume. Using the options located in the upper and lower part of the screen, the reader can open the desired pages and move forwards or back. Of course, one can always return to the index of the selected volume or to the initial menu to choose another yearbook for consultation.
The on-line Yearbooks were edited by professors Elisa Signori and Dario Mantovani. Their on-line publication was funded through the research project "Two centuries of the history of the University of Pavia. Science, culture and professions from the Restoration to the post-Second World War era", coordinated by professor Giulio Guderzo. The Cariplo Foundation also made a contribution. We would also like to thank Fabio Ferlini and Massimiliano Pini of the Computer Centre (Centro di Calcolo) of the University of Pavia for their technical expertise.