Archivio di Stato di Torino

Historical archives of the publishing house Giulio Einaudi Editore, 1933-1983

Archivio di Stato di Torino, Piazza Castello 209, 10124 Torino

The documentary archives and their structure

These archives are deposited in the Archivio di Stato di Torino [State Archives of Turin]. They gather together the records produced by the publishing house over the years from its foundation in 1933. The basic core is made up of (1) correspondence (letter exchanges among authors, copy editors, editors, translators and proofreaders); (2) minutes of the meetings (“Wednesday encounters”) that took place every week in order to discuss and draw up plans for publishing; (3) minutes of the seminars at Rhêmes, which took place every summer in that town in the Val d’Aosta to examine future work prospects): (4) reviews relating to the editorial activities of the publishing house; (5) originals and drafts of the works.

These materials were subjected to two different inventory processes. The first process provides for six series of records: 1. Editorial minutes, 2. Correspondence, 3. Literary properties, 4. Fairs, exhibits, conferences and conventions, 5. Awards, 6. Reviews. The technical office then applied a different inventory process, this time with eight series: 1. Originals and drafts, 2. Book covers, 3. Book jackets, 4. TFT work, 5. original TFTs, 6. Original designs, 7. Posters, 8. non-editorial TFTs.

Finding aids: (1) a six- volume inventory on paper with an index of names for the first six series; (2) a computerized index for the process effected by the technical office. Potential users need the authorization of Einaudi publishers in order to consult the archives.

Primo Levi in the Einaudi Archives

In the beginning of 1947 the typescript of what was to become If This is a Man was submitted to several editors, including Einaudi himself, who all “rejected it with the usual vague pretexts” (P. Levi, Nota [Note] to the dramatic version of If This is a Man, in Opere I [Collected works], ed. M. Belpoliti, 1997, pp. 1159-1160). Thanks to the intervention of Alessandro Galante Garrone, the book was published that same year with a press run of 2500 copies by De Silva publishers, directed by Franco Antonicelli. In 1952 Primo Levi began to make contributions as a translator to Einaudi scientific editions. In 1955 he thought of submitting the book to the publisher again: the contract for the new edition of If This is a Man dates from July 11 1955. From that day on until his death in 1987, Primo Levi had an almost exclusive relationship with the publishers. There are only three exceptions – the poetry collections The Inn at Brema L’osteria di Brema (published by Scheiwiller) and At an Uncertain Hour Ad ora incerta (Garzanti) as well as Stories and Essays Racconti e saggi («La Stampa»)
The papers maintained at the archives allow users to go over the whole history of Levi’s relationship with Einaudi and, in particular, to trace the unfolding of his creative thought and the steps in his literary production. They can do this thanks to the originals of the works, the substantial correspondence, and the minutes of the editorial meetings where it was decided whether to publish various writings or not. In addition, the rich collection of press clippings is a basic source for the analysis of Levi’s critical fortunes and the reception of his works. Meanwhile, there are many documents that are not related to his activity as an author himself – his “opinions” or the reading forms he filled out on the books submitted to his attention. These give evidence of several lesser known aspects of the relationship between Levi and the publishing house. An overall examination of the archives has allowed us to rediscover various records related to Primo Levi in:
• series CORRISPONDENZA (1931-1996), sub-series CORRISPONDENZA AUTORI E COLLABORATORI ITALIANI (1931-1996), file 1711.
• series VERBALI EDITORIALI (1945-1996), sub-series VERBALI DELLE RIUNIONI EDITORIALI (1949-1996), n. 93, 246, 249, 369, 515; 7bis, n. 4.
• series PREMI (1951-1987), sub-series LETTERA B, file 2.1.2.; sub-series LETTERA C, file 3.6.1; sub-series LETTERA S, file 13.29.2.
• series RECENSIONI (1939-1994), sub-series RECENSIONI DI VOLUMI PUBBLICATI (1939-1994), files 2793-2812.
• UFFICIO TECNICO, series ORIGINALI E BOZZE, sub-series OPERE EDITE E INEDITE DELLA CASA EDITRICE GIULIO EINAUDI EDITORE, files 3003-3036; series COPERTINE, file 65; series SOVRACOPERTINE, file 36; series MANIFESTI, files 14, 81, 134 and 143.

Order in which the papers relating to Primo Levi are described in the archives of Einaudi publishers

1. Biographical notes

2. Primo Levi and Einaudi publishers
2.1. Works of Primo Levi
2.1.1. Correspondence about the publication of the works
2.1.2. Correspondence about the translations of the works
2.1.3. Correspondence about the adaptations of the works
2.1.4. Typescripts and extracts
2.1.5. Originals and drafts of the works
2.1.6. Technical material
2.1.7. Minutes of the editorial meetings
2.2. Opinions of Primo Levi
2.3. Translations by Primo Levi
2.4. Administrative, economic and financial papers
2.4.1. Contracts
2.4.2. Accounting

3. Critical fortunes
3.1. Articles and reviews
3.2. Conferences
3.3. Awards

For a more detailed description, please consult the pages in Italian.