CISDAE+-+History
After the death of its founder, Mario Fantin, one cold January day, the CISDAE of the Italian Alpine Club was moved from Bologna to Turin and set up in the Ala Albertina of the Museo Nazionale della Montagna with all the other collections (photographs, films and documents) acquired by the Museum to prevent their dispersion. In the following months, every page, every photograph, every piece of paper was examined and re-examined, studied and catalogued. The cataloguing work lasted many years. The archive revealed the extraordinary care taken by the person who had put it together, his personality, his collection criteria. Fantin was an extraordinary collector; he let nothing escape him. His sources were always first hand, precise, reliable; the basic documentation on mountains outside Europe in the original language. Papers, images of mountains, documents were present in more than one copy, photographed and re-photographed so that they could be sent to leaders of expeditions. Every detail to be added to the archive was verified by its curator with the utmost care. No photocopier. In its place, those who worked on organising the CISDAE and the other collections acquired by the Museum found thousands of carbon copies, an incredible number of images “copied” with the camera (that was Fantin’s photocopier), photographic reproductions of articles, even of difficult-to-find books. The remainder was made up of files stuffed with annotated manuscripts, quantities of typed pages, proofs, shelving loaded with volumes, guides, leaflets. And the books, monographs, magazines, pages of newspapers, articles taken from every type of publication all bore annotations, underlinings, cross references, comments and observations.

But the route taken by Mario Fantin turned out to be a harsh and solitary path. In the life of the Bolognese scholar there was no room for delegating. All the phases in the work process passed through his hands.
The same type of work that for several months had been occupying the CISDAE was applied to the photographic collections and films belonging to the Museum: cleaning, restoration, collecting all available data for the identification and classification of each image and every single film clip.

Fantin’s era in the buildings of the new Museum continued thanks to the work of its new curator, Luciano Ghigo, flanked subsequently by Roberto Mantovani; it is now followed by Gilberto Merlante. Over the years, the CISDAE has continued to stimulate and promote the collection of data and material, transforming itself into a service structure available to those who intend to carry out mountaineering activities in the mountains outside Europe; today also thanks to the decisive support from computer science.