From Galileo Galilei to Giacomo Leopardi, from Emperor Charles V to Gioacchino Rossini. Unseen autographed documents will be exhibited from 22 April to 27 August 2022 for the first time at the Estense University Library in the exhibition “Illustrissimi. Famous autographs and curious stories from the Giuseppe Campori collection ". Curated by Luca Sandoni with the advice of Matteo Al Kalak, Carlo Baja Guarienti, Elena Fumagalli, Marco Iacovella, Giacomo Mariani, the exhibition, which exhibits about fifty autographs and other documents kept at the Estense, tells the story of the Autograph collection Campori offering an essay of its extraordinary richness and relevance.
For one hundred and thirty years, the Autograph Library has been kept in the halls of the Estense University Library of Modena. The result of the indefatigable passion for collecting of the Modenese marquis Giuseppe Campori (1821-1887), the Autografoteca is a huge collection of 115,000 manuscripts, mostly autographed letters, but also other documents, covering a period of five centuries, from the fifteenth to the nineteenth. On his death, Campori wanted to donate his collection of autographs to the Municipality of Modena, establishing in his will that it be left in permanent deposit at the Estense Library. This treasure of papers is certainly not unknown to scholars, but it has not been fully exploited so far due to the lack of a detailed inventory that allows them to know precisely its contents.
In 2020, thanks to the collaboration between the Estensi Galleries and the Interdepartmental Research Center on Digital Humanities of the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia (DHMoRe) and with the contribution of the Emilia-Romagna Region, an ambitious project was undertaken aimed at cataloging and digitization of the entire Campori Autografoteca, which will thus be accessible online not only for scholars, but for the entire community.