Temporary exhibition

During Ca' Foscari Tour you can visit temporary exhibition of the Historical Archive, at the ground floor of Ca' Foscari palace. During the tour visitors can access this page by using the QR code located beside the showcases.

Current exhibition: Memories of Women between the 19th and 20th Centuries 
Glimpses on the role of women in society between the late 19th century and post-World War II

This exhibition presents books and documents that bear witness to the changingrights and living conditions of women between the end of the 19th century and theearly 1950s. Over this period, many things changed: from the freedom of earlyTwentieth-century avant-gardes to increased numbers of women enrolling andgraduating, to women being forced to quit their studies and lose their rights due toracist laws.

Showcase 1

1 - Giù le armi - Almanacco illustrato per la pace, 1896

"Giù le armi. Almanacco illustrato per la pace" (Down with Arms. Illustrated Almanac of Peace) Annual journal edited by the Società internazionale per la Pace. Unione Lombarda (International Society for Peace – Lombard Union). Rare file. Castelnuovo Archive.

Eugenia Potonié-Pierre, activist and founder in 1892 of the Federation of French Feminist Societies, describes the desired role of women in wartime and remarks that many European women were working for peace under the auspices of the Unione Internazionale delle donne per la pace (International Women for Peace Union).

This rare and precious copy is inscribed to Ca' Foscari Professor Enrico Castelnuovo by Ernesto Teodoro Moneta, the only Italian to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize (in 1907). In Phaidra, you can leaf through the entire almanack, including the Art Nouveau cover. It is a typical example of the Italian current affairs press.

2 - Speech delivered at the Second Congress of Girls' Education and Elementary School Teachers, opening session 18 August 1901

Antonio Fradeletto (1858-1930), professor of Italian literature at the Advanced School of Economics and Commerce in Venice from 1880, was also a prominent intellectual and activist. Shown here is the stenographic transcription of a speech given during the inaugural session of the "Second Congress of Female Education and Elementary Teachers" on 18 August 1901.

One passage reads: "Only one matter should be of concern to you: - that the salary of female teachers is made equal to that of male teachers, as implied by the reform of the Pensions Fund."

3 - Ca' Foscari Historical Archives, Student Series, Index books, Course certificates (1880 - 1922)
Ca' Foscari Historical Archives, Student Series, Index books, Degrees up to 1923
Ca' Foscari Historical Archives, Student Series, Index books, Courses from October 1920

Rubriche Antichi Studenti (Index book of former students) - The Rubriche degli antichi studenti cafoscarini, initially stored in the student secretariat, were moved to the Archive Room in Ca' Foscari's main building in 2008. They list the student's surname and first name and a reference to the enrolment register. The large enrolment register (you can see one in the following display case) contained information on the student's career such as years of enrolment, exams taken and grades.

The index card on display refers to Vittoria Agazzi, the first student to enrol at the Scuola Superiore di Commercio in Venice, thirty-two years after its foundation in 1868. Vittoria Agazzi was admitted in April 1901, with matriculation number 1007, to the 1900/1901 academic year. Born in Venice on 3 November 1882, she attended private schools until, after passing an exam, she enrolled directly in the third year of the Sezione di Magistero of the Languages Faculty to specialise in English, and in the first year of the Italian Literature course. In July 1905, she graduated in Foreign Languages, and in November of the same year, she received the qualification to teach English. Vittoria Agazzi was also the first woman admitted to the Associazione degli Antichi Studenti della Regia Scuola Superiore di Commercio di Venezia (alumni), of which she became a member on 11 July 1905.

4 - Vita femminile italiana. Monthly Journal directed by Sofia Bisi Albini
Instalment I January 1907, pp. 112-113
Instalment II, 1907, cover
Instalment V May 1907, cover

Vita femminile italiana (Italian Women's Life) was a monthly magazine founded in 1907 by Sofia Bisi Albini, who came from the Lombardy middle class and was committed to the ideals of female emancipation. This publication was the official organ of several women's associations (Consiglio Nazionale delle Donne Italiane, Circolo filologico femminile di Milano, Cooperativa per le Industrie Femminili Italiane...). Some established intellectuals and writers such as Ada Negri, Grazia Deledda and Sibilla Aleramo collaborated with it.

You can see the cover of instalments II and V, and instalment I open on pages 112-113. The section entitled "Magazine of Magazines" takes up a news item from Il Secolo XIX signed by Flavia Steno, highlighting the enrolment of three "Signorine" at the Scuola Superiore di Commercio in Genoa.

Maria Rimoldi had already opened the way for women in Economics studies, enrolling at Ca' Foscari in the commercial section in 1904 and graduating in 1906 (see Bulletin 26).

Showcase 2

5 - Ca' Foscari Historical Archives, Student Series, Index books, Enrolment Registers, Enrolment Register no. 10

Enrolment Registers (1874 - 1951) - Enrolment registers are large-format volumes (44x36 cm) recording a student's university career divided by academic year. On display, you can see register no. 10, open to the page relating to Luciana Criarà, matriculation number 5147. Criarà was a student in the Faculty of English Language and Literature at Ca' Foscari. She graduated on 3 November 1930 with full marks and qualified to teach English. Bulletin No. 99 of 1931, on page 18, gives us the number of women enrolled at the time: 98, 78 of whom enrolled in the Foreign Languages section. Six of them graduated with full marks.

6 - Belli, Adriano, Hitlers Deutschland. Notes from the classes of Prof. Adriano Belli, Academic Year 1933-34, Venezia, G.U.F., 1934

"Hitlers Deutschland. Notes from the classes of Prof. Adriano Belli" published by the Regio Istituto Superiore di Scienze Economiche e Commerciali and edited by the Fascist University Group (G. U. F.) of Venice. It is an anthology of texts from works such as Hitler's "Mein Kampf", Forsthoff's "Der Total Staat" and the "Völkischer Beobachter" (the official newspaper of the Nazi party), which Belli had his students translate. The book also contains a glossary compiled by the students. The book is open on pages 33-34, where we can read that women should stick to the role of Haus Schwester, a sort of governess relegated to the care of the young, the elderly and the home. Towards the end, the text suggests setting up a school for housewives in Magdeburg and precludes any other profession for women. The ideal age for marriage is also indicated: between 17 and 28 at most.

7 - Ca' Foscari Historical Archives, Student Series, Student Files, Finzi Paola

Paola Finzi - Paola Finzi enrolled in the Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures in the a.a. 1936-37. She chose German as her four-year language course and English and French as her two-year language courses. She had good grades, but because she was Jewish the racist fascist laws forced her to quit her studies and Ca' Foscari.

8 - Ca' Foscari Historical Archives, Student Series, Student Files, Padovano Elvira

D'Enrico - Padovano family certificate - This document attests to the composition of the D'Enrico - Padovano household. The family certificate was required for anyone wishing to file for a university fee reduction that was granted to members of large families. Elvira Padovano had enrolled in the Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literature, and her family certificate is very interesting, in that the head of the family was Matilde D'Enrico (who was legally separated), and not her husband. Also, the eldest daughter is listed as having a job as a teacher.

Current exhibition

Past exhibitions

file pdfCa' Foscari historic and academic venues. Restoration meets sustainability
June - December 2023
3.08 M
file pdfStudent unrest at Ca' Foscari: 1967-1978
May 2021 - January 2022
1.32 M
file pdfWomen at Ca'Foscari
February 2020 - May 2021
1.49 M
file pdfCa’ Foscari and Japan: 1868-1945
June 2019 - April 2020
1.34 M
file pdfTwo Antique Portolan Charts
January-May 2019
292 K
file pdfStatistics at Ca’ Foscari: Debate, Research and Teaching
May 2018 - December 2018
508 K
file pdfCa’ Foscari’s Centenary: 1868 - 1968
August 2017 - April 2018
291 K
file pdfFeliciano Benvenuti for the centenary of his birth
October 2016 - July 2017
190 K
file pdfStudent life
April - November 2016
0.93 M
file pdfCa' Foscari Illustrious guests
November 2015-March 2016
246 K
file pdfBirth of the Royal School of Commerce
May-October 2015
131 K