In the last decade, studies regarding institutions once deployed to hospitalize people considered affected by mental diseases have reinvigorated. Particularly, there is an interest in protecting the resources produced by those institutions and to make them available for inquiry. Indeed, this action represents a prerequisite to allow investigations about the evolution of such institutes, their functions, their relationship with the surrounding urban environment as well as about the profile of the people therein hospitalized and the degree of medicalization to which they were submitted. Moreover, making this heritage available allows an analysis of the social and cultural meaning of mental illnesses, also in relation to ideas of inclusion and exclusion.
In this framework the psychiatric hospital of San Giacomo alla Tomba in Verona, which embodies the study object of the research project here proposed, is particularly significant. As a former mental hospital, this institution produced an extensive archival documentation of 1,013 folders, dated between 1880 and 1980, which is still largely unknown. This valuable source is today extremely difficult to access/critically inaccessible because of the lack of any catalogue. The research project aims to investigate the history of this important institute, and to catalogue its archive since it became a mental hospital, in order to make it available to the scientific community as well as to the wider public.
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Rilevanza e originalità scientifica del progetto di ricerca