Guido Dorso Research Centre
The Guido Dorso Research Centre (Centro di Ricerca Guido Dorso) is an association named after the Italian lawyer, journalist and antifascist intellectual Guido Dorso (Avellino, 1892-1947). Dorso was one of the most important scholars of Italy’s “Southern Question” (Questione meridionale) and his writings constitute a very important contribution to the tradition of analyses and debates in studies on Southern Italy, a tradition known as meridionalismo.
One of the promoters of the Partito d’Azione (“Action Party”) in the South of Italy, and a harsh critic of the Southern ruling class, he struggled for the birth of a strong morally-motivated elite ruling class, that would be capable of closing the gap between Northern and Southern Italy.
His most famous book is The Southern Revolution (Turin, Gobetti, 1925).
History and mission
The Dorso Centre was founded in 1978 with the donation (by his family) of Guido Dorso’s personal books, serials and documents, that were to be the initial core of one of the most interesting libraries in the area.
It is located in the heart of the old district of Avellino, in the 18th-century Palazzo Victor Hugo, in Piazza XXIII Novembre.
The Dorso Centre is a non-profit association, legally recognized and registered by the Region of Campania as a cultural institute.
It is governed by a Chairman in conjunction with a Board of Governors and a Steering Committee nominated by the Assembly and a Scientific Committee nominated by the Board of Governors. The Board of Governors consists of three members: the Chairman, the Vice-Chairman and the Dorso family; the Steering Committee consists of six members: the Chairman, the Dorso family, the Region of Campania, the Municipality of Avellino, the Province of Avellino and the Feltrinelli Foundation.
The current President is Luigi Fiorentino.
The mission of the Dorso Centre is
– to collect, preserve and make available to the public, materials and resources concerning the history of the South of Italy
– promote research upon subjects related to the local area and Southern Italy, and publish the results of that research
– provide educational programs, together with other local authorities and organizations, to give students the opportunity to broaden their knowledge and horizons and develop a vision for their future
– promote and hold meetings, lectures and exhibitions.
The Library began acquiring Dorso’s personal library and documents and has been adding other important collections ever since its foundation; major donations include the personal libraries and archives of distinguished scholars (first of all Carlo Muscetta, one of the most prominent scholars of Italian literature).
The present collection holds over 50,000 volumes.
An online catalogue is available for research purposes and for more information on the collections.
The Library is also a member of the Irpinia Library System, a group of libraries working in co-operation with one another.