The CSAC is an Archive, a Museum and a Teaching and Research Centre of the University of Parma

The Archive is the widest-ranging and most complex collection of original visual and design material in Italy. It is organised as an organic archival system in which works and documents of different kinds have been associated, in order to consent cross-searches and thorough, across-the-board investigations.

The ultimate goal of the Archive is collect, protect, conserve, and catalogue its treasures, and to disseminate documents and knowledge through IT channels. The archive is the basic presupposition, in terms of documentary resources, for the CSAC’s scientific and popularizing activities, in collaboration with other public and private concerns.

Inside the Abbey of Valserena at Paradigna, a Museum is now open, in which various exhibitions have been created to disseminate the archive’s vast legacy, promoting keys to reading and understanding little-observed aspects of fine art, photography, architectural and design projects, and fashion. The huge possibilities offered by the archive’s reserves characterize the Museum itself, which will become not only a place to visit, but somewhere for reflection and study.

The Museum also organizes educational projects for elementary and high schools, special initiatives for visitors, and out-of-hours openings with themed events.

The Research and Teaching Centre deals with the creation and dissemination of original research, by way of exhibitions, seminars and in-depth congresses. It organizes national and international research projects both in particular sectors and interdisciplinary, with a view to cultural promotion. It organizes university and higher education lectures, schedules specialist workshops in support of research and teaching to take a closer look at problems of conserving and safeguarding cultural heritage, to develop technical and scientific investigations into materials, and to propose innovative solutions to protect archives.

Added Value. The fact of having combined an archive, a museum and a research and teaching centre already constitutes a unicum of enormous significance. However, the CSAC’s premises truly are exceptional: a 13th century Cistercian Abbey, restored inside and out, featuring welcome and hospitality facilities including a cafeteria, restaurant and hostel.

Everyone will be able to enjoy this vast patrimony: getting to know the Archive’s works and documents, visiting the Museum and sculpture park, trying out local products, and having the privilege of sleeping in the former monks’ cells in the eighteenth century wing.