The Turin 1911 project consists of three distinct phases.
Phase 1 (2003-2006) culminated in the publication of Cristina Della Coletta’s World’s Fairs Italian Style: The Great Expositions in Turin and their Narratives, 1860-1915 (University of Toronto Press, 2006; paperback edition in 2015). This volume reverses the conventional wisdom that Italy was not an influential participant in the nationalistic and imperialistic discourses that world's fairs produced in Great Britain, France, and the U.S. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Based on extensive archival research and the identification of ephemeral materials that were never examined before, the book demonstrates how Italy hosted numerous international exhibitions expounding notions of national identity, imperial expansion, and technological progress. World’s Fairs Italian Style concludes that because of its social fragmentation and hybrid history, Italy was a site of both hegemony and subordination - an aspiring imperial power whose colonization started from within.
Phase 2 (2009-2011) was predicated by the realization that a traditional printed book such as World’s Fairs Italian Style could not provide the most flexible platform to represent and analyze the diversity and richness of the world’s fairs phenomenon. As the recipient of a Residential Fellowship at the University of Virginia’s Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities, Della Coletta was able to expand her research and receive training in the use of relevant digital tools, in line with IATH’s mission to explore and develop “information technology as a tool for scholarly humanities research.” Della Coletta consulted extensively with the IATH team, led by Daniel Pitti and Worthy Martin, and benefitted from their staff’s technical support. The result was the creation of an extensive database and a prototype for the archival sections of the current digital project: Turin 1911: The World's Fair in Italy.
Phase 3 (2014 -) is currently ongoing. It features the partnership between the University of California San DIego's School of Arts & Humanities and the Cultural Heritage Engineering Initiative (CHEI) at UC San Diego's Qualcomm Institute, and the Laboratory of Geomatics for Cultural Heritage of the Polytechnic University of Turin, Italy (POLITO). Having moved to San Diego as the Dean of the School of Arts & Humanities, Della Coletta partnered with CHEI Research Scientist Dominique Rissolo and POLITO’s Geomatics Professor Filiberto Chiabrando and PhD Student Alessandra Spreafico, and their respective teams. Phase 3, is the most expansive and ambitious of the project’s three phases. Phase 3 has been in part made possible by Chancellor’s Associates Endowed Chair Funds. The project’s archival contents have more than quadrupled since Phase 1 and now include all the digitized architectural drawings of the Archivio Stefano Molli, Fondazione Achille Marazza (Borgomanero, Italy). A new website design has been created and implemented. Most importantly, Phase 3 features the 3D reconstruction of several of the ephemeral pavilions and buildings that were dismantled at the end of the Exposition of Turin 1911, such as the Padiglione dell’Ungheria, Padiglione della Citta di Torino, and Padiglione del Siam, among others.
Throughout the years, many individuals and organizations supported and participated in the Turin 1911 project. Please see the Acknowledgments section of this website for details.