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Fund of the Institute for the Promotion of Small Industries in Trieste

In the last decade of the nineteenth century, the Austrian government planned an incisive intervention in the small industry sector with the adoption of measures to encourage the development and protection of craft enterprises and home work and aimed at the renewal of technology in use, as well as updating the professionalism of operators.

In 1896 the Department for the Promotion of Small Industries was created, which gave rise in every province of the empire to peripheral locations, called Institutes for the promotion of small industries.

Welcomed on the territory with a certain scepticism of industrial circles, this institution succeeded in imposing itself and involving local institutions such as the Diets and the Chambers of Commerce, who had the task of assisting the central administration in the granting of grants for the renewal of machinery and in the organization of professional courses, exhibitions, conferences, artistic propaganda, travel, and competitions. Each building also had a library.

Among the 18 existing institutes, that of Trieste was active from 1904, with headquarters in via del Lazzaretto Vecchio 52, - via Economo 2, (corner with via del Promontorio), on the first floor. It occupied a space of 1400 square meters, which were used as classrooms for training courses (both day and evening), a room for temporary exhibitions, as well as the office of the Management. In 1905 part of the spaces were also used as a permanent collection of "machines, ordnance, raw materials, raw and finished products concerning all minor industries. of our provinces in particular".

'Institute between 1904 and 1920 organized for the territory of competence (which also included Istria and Dalmatia) 252 courses (175 for men, 77 for women) and 30 exhibitions of machines, engines, industrial products and apprentice jobs.

Particularly relevant in this context is the activity of the library, inaugurated on 1. June 1905, which was intended part of the premises of the first floor, in the immediate vicinity of the chancellery.

For the establishment of the first nucleus of the library "various publishing companies, industrial institutes and printers were approached in order to have works of Italian text"; "easier a first choice of mainly illustrated German works, photographs, models,.".

By the end of the first year it had 800 volumes and 100 periodicals, and had been visited by 674 users.

Consultation was allowed not only to craftsmen and workers, but to all citizens; in 1915 the library boasted about 3,000 volumes, and had a reading room where the public could have free material to draw and limestone.

At the end of the 1. World War the functionality of the institutes of Trieste, Gorizia, Rovereto and Bolzano was maintained and between 1922 and 1928 was homologated to the Italian national order; In 1931 the jurisdiction of Trieste was extended and the institution renamed the Institute for the promotion of small industries and crafts for Trieste, Istria and Carnaro. In the same years the institutes became peripheral organs of the National Agency for Crafts and Small Industry - ENAPI, an institution created under the Ministry of National Economy based in Rome. In 1942 the institutes were definitively suppressed and their functions absorbed by the National Fascist Agency for Crafts and Small Industries - ENFAPI. In 1956, the ENAPI resumed its activity, and finally ceased 1973.

The library of the Trieste headquarters was in operation until 1960; at that time it consisted of 5,485 documents. In the following years a large portion of that heritage was transferred to the University of Trieste and taken over, from the end of 1962, by the General Library of Trieste, where it is still located.

The Fund shall comprise:

La biblioteca dell’Istituto per il promovimento delle piccole industrie

Keika zuan: kōhen jō 京華 図案: 後編上


Istituto per il promovimento delle piccole industrie in Trieste, Protocollo della seduta .. del Curatorio, Trieste, 1903-1909

Ennio Maserati, Gli istituti per il promovimento delle piccole industrie dall’ordinamento austriaco a quello italiano (1896-1942), in Metodi e Ricerche, ns, XVIII, 2 (luglio dicembre 1999)

Pagina della Cronaca, in L'osservatore triestino, Trieste, Ces. Reg. Stamperia G. Tommasini,  3 giugno 1915