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The Institute divides broadly into three areas.
1. Research. The Director prof. Christoph Cornelißen leads a team of researchers – some tenured, some on contract – who pursue the new research projects. The various successive research phases have stemmed from the impulse imparted by the Director as well as from interaction with the international academic community.
Research activities consist not just of the research team’s work, but also promotion of international study-encounter venues in the form of meetings and workshops at various levels. The centre-piece is the “Study-week” – now through to its 59th edition – which is held at Trento in late summer every year, bringing together a select group of scholars and young researchers to discuss a topic of special importance to history-writing.
2. The Library. The Institute possesses one of the richest specialist libraries in the field of Italo-German, and indeed European, history studies. It now consists of some 147.230 books (1,339 of them ancient), 1,368 journals (416 of them current) and 26 databanks (5 of them online). Over the years the library has acquired a series of prestige collections including the library of the eminent Council of Trent historian, Hubert Jedin, and the library of the Italian Foundation for Administrative History (FISA), one of the first Italian centres back in the 1950s and 1960s specialising in institutional history studies. The digitized library is on the Catalogo Bibliografico Trentino, the pooled electronic facility integrating the contents of over 150 public and private libraries in the Trentino.
3. Publishing. A rare thing in Italy, the Institute has its own internal editorial office which is not just an occasional appendix to research work, but a proper editorial service carrying on the work of fostering culture and exchanges with the research world.
Both in collaboration with illustrious publishing houses (Il Mulino in Italy, Duncker & Humblot in Germany), and by its own in-house FBK-Press, the Institute has produced a by now sizable number of publication series. They include the historical series “Quaderni” (Notebooks), collecting the results of scientific work generated around meetings (beginning with the Study-week proceedings); this has now reached 80 titles. There is also the “Monograph” series, the bilingual “Contributi/Beiträge” series, “Sources” and the German-language “Schriften des Italienisch-Deutschen Historischen Instituts”. Considerable energy also goes into creating “large works” such as the critical edition of Alcide De Gasperi’s Writings and political speeches (10 volumes running to some 10,000 pages) and a History of the Trentino (6 volumes).
Lastly, the “Annals of the Italian-German Historical Institute in Trento" (since 1975) gather contributions from Italian and foreign scholars, especially German, on the weightiest topics tackled by Institute projects over the year. Since 2012 the “Annals” have become a bi-yearly publication formed of one purely Italian and one purely German issue. The “Annals of the Italian-German Historical Institute in Trento” were included by Anvur in the A category (top-ranking) for scientific journals in: A2 - STORIA MODERNA and A3 - STORIA CONTEMPORANEA