THE PROJECT

#LombrosoProject is an effort to research, catalogue, organise, digitise and make available the unpublished works of Cesare Lombroso (Verona, 1835 – Turin, 1909) and his correspondents.

As a doctor, psychiatrist, anthropologist, sociologist and criminologist, and as the emblematic intellectual of Italian positivism, Lombroso produced a vast body of professional and personal correspondence that up to now has been largely unexplored, having been dispersed in numerous locations. The donation of documents from family members made after the museum founded by Lombroso himself was opened to the public in 2009 enhanced the nucleus of documents already held by the University of Turin, which now houses around 1,900 items, including letters, notes, postcards, drafts and proofs, the majority of which were “incoming”, with Lombroso as the recipient.

The ambition to make the most of this significant endowment by undertaking a comprehensive reorganisation, by locating the “outward” correspondence sent by Lombroso to his interlocutors, and by constructing a portal providing open access to the documents has been the driving force behind the Lombroso Project. Supported by the CRT Foundation and by the Museum System and Department of History of the University of Turin, the Lombroso Project has benefitted from the backing of the various Italian and foreign organisations that safeguard Lombroso’s unpublished work.

The digital reproduction of the papers has been enhanced by a brief summary of the contents and, in the case of documents that are only partly legible, by a partial transcription. An index of senders, recipients and topics of discussion has also been added in order to aid navigation. Lastly, the portal also facilitates the consultation of the documents comprising the Lombroso Museum’s collection of “uncommon writings”, in other words the body of texts — autobiographies, defence statements, letters, drawings and poems — produced by men and women subjected to custodial measures or interned in healthcare facilities.


The Second International Congress of Criminal Anthropology, Paris, August, 10-18, 1889