Poli Archives

Gabriella Poli Archives, Primo Levi Section (1955-2008)

The documentary archives and their structure

This archive was donated to the International Primo Levi Studies Center in December 2008. It contains the documentation that Gabriella Poli, journalist for «La Stampa», collected from 1955 to 2008. The material consists in books, press clippings, letters, manuscripts, typescripts, photographs and tapes (documents for projection). When they were acquired, they were found gathered together in envelopes and files bearing wording that indicated their content. The contents of the donation were catalogued provisionally, but currently the archive is being rearranged and so is not yet available for consultation.

Primo Levi in the Poli Archives

Gabriella Poli and Primo Levi met in 1954 during a trip to Buchenwald. Levi was acting as a guide for the guests from different countries. The journalist, who was then working for the newspaper «Avanti!», had been interested in the Nazi concentration camps for a while. Later, they continued to be in contact because she was working for the newspaper «La Stampa», where she had become city editor and where Levi had begun to contribute in 1975.
Gabriella Poli wrote two texts on Primo Levi: Echi di una voce perduta. Incontri, interviste e conversazioni con Primo Levi (with Giorgio Calcagno) [Echoes of a lost voice: encounters, interviews and conversations with Primo Levi] and La memoria come impegno e come lotta [Memory as commitment and struggle] in Primo Levi: la dignità dell'uomo [Primo Levi: the dignity of the man], Rosa Brambilla & Giuseppe Cacciatore, eds. (Atti del Seminario di Studio di Assisi, 20-23 November 1994). The echoes (Echi) gather together the interviews, radio and television texts, and records of public encounters that Poli put together over time. The documentation in the archives was very probably the basis of her book. In fact, there are many press clippings and texts of Primo Levi’s talks and writings during events mostly related to the deportation and to the Resistance.

Overall framework of the records contained in the archives

1. Biographical notes
- Reviews of the biographies
- Letter exchange with Carol Angier, drafts of the biography and translations
- Interviews and statements
- Photographs
- Videotapes for projection (television broadcasts)
- Obituaries and articles about his death

2. Primo Levi and Gabriella Poli
- Original manuscripts and typescripts
- Prefaces, translations, miscellaneous writings
- Press clippings of articles, essays, and poems appearing in periodicals
- American reviews
- Translations of Primo Levi’s works

3. Critical fortunes
- Articles on his works and reviews
- Articles on the theater, TV, and radio
- Various items related with conferences
- Articles on prizes
- Articles on the 10th and 20th anniversary of his death
- Correspondence