THE MIGRANT MEMORIES NETWORKS COLLECTION AT ICBSA (Istituto Centrale Beni Sonori e Audiovisivi, Ministero dei Beni Culturali, Roma – Central Institute for Sound and Audiovisual Heritage, Ministry for Cultural Heritage, Rome)

The Migrant Memories Networks Collection (FRMM) in the Istituto Centrale per i Beni Sonori e Audiovisivi (Central Institute for Sound and Audiovisual Heritage) contains audiovisual material on memories of immigration in Italy. It originated in an Agreement between the Archivio delle memorie migranti, Circolo Gianni Bosio, Università degli studi di Napoli “L’Orientale” and the Istituto Centrale per i Beni Sonori e Audiovisivi. The deed of agreement, signed on 27 January 2012 and renewed on 17 March 2015, has as its main objective the formation of a collection of migration archives containing evidence of the processes of social and cultural interaction currently at work in Italy. The collection pays specific attention to the conservation of documents created by people with a personal experience of migration and intercultural practices.

The idea of setting up a network of migrant memory archives with players already engaged in these activities originated in the conviction that Italy is ready to include in its own collective memory cultural traces of the experiences of migration, on the increase in our country. This means giving priority to modes of listening, research and documentation that share the same methods of archiving and circulating the results obtained. Once the material has been included in the Network and in ICBSA’s conservation and valorization system, it becomes part of the national heritage and can be accessed by the public.

The material comprises memoirs, narratives, music, writing and sound and video testimonies produced by foreign communities in Italy and operators working in their midst or in cooperation with them. The Migrant Memories Network Collection is intended to be a reference point for those who wish to share, preserve and make available texts, films, recordings of life stories, sound files and video narratives testifying to a new participatory and interactive form of communication in which experts, educators, field workers and migrants work together to represent issues, situations and rights connected with the condition of foreign migrants.


The Migrant Memories Networks Collection (FRMM)

is promoted by:

Archivio delle memorie migranti

Circolo Gianni Bosio

Università degli studi di Napoli “L’Orientale”

Istituto Centrale per i Beni Sonori e Audiovisivi

The Migrant Memories Networks Collection on the ICBSA DDS node



The Network aims to:

collect memoirs, music, testimonies and oral and audiovisual narratives in order to reconstruct experiences of transnational mobility and integration regarding foreigners migrating to Italy and to increase and disseminate information and awareness about the complex processes of co-existence and intercultural interaction in this country;

produce educational audio-visual documents on migration routes and experiences, practices of inclusion and reception for foreign migrants, refugees and asylum seekers intended for circulation in schools, gathering places, diasporic communities and meeting places;

link today’s experience of immigration to that of European and Italian emigration in the past, underlining the difficulties and suffering it induces but also its positive effects in producing a more variegated and flexible development of the human condition;

acknowledge memories of the experience of otherness in Italy as a valid documentary source, giving official and professional recognition to a process that hitherto has mainly involved members of civil society. Support from universities and national archives will help to achieve the professional standards enabling the preservation, archiving and use of the material collected by the different partners.

How the Migrant Memories Network Collection works

Current working methods:

1) Members of the Network are free to decide whether or not to deposit original material or copies in order to ensure the best available mode of preservation.  Ownership is retained by the depositers.

2) The material enters the public domain[JW1]  once it has become part of the Network and the ICBSA FRMM Collection. The methods used for managing and incorporating individual materials are decided on case by case.

3) Cataloguing follows the system adopted by ICBSA, in line with the support used for the storage of the original material. ICBSA will provide an index card model to be filled in as each source is created; methods will be found to ensure communication between individual databases and the ICBSA database.

4)  Digitisation of material to be deposited will either be carried out by ICBSA directly, or by individual partners of the Network, with specialized support from the Institute.

5) ICBSA, in agreement with the partners of the Network, will make available its centralized structure and central and peripheral services of access and consultation in order to guarantee complete visibility to the Network’s material, on parallel lines to that provided by the partners independently, thereby ensuring variegated, multidirectional forms of access to the material.