"ARCH-Archival Research and Cultural Heritage: The Theatre Archive of Socìetas Raffaello Sanzio" emerged as a research project in two phases. The first of these was Archivio, a two-year initiative under Dr Eleni Papalexiou and Dr Avra Xepapadakou, made possible by the endorsement and financial resources of the University of Crete, and supported by a team of undergraduate students in theatre studies. In the first months of 2012 this small research team began their collaboration with Claudia Castellucci and the other members of the Socìetas Raffaello Sanzio. By the close of 2013, they had completed the classification of a considerable part of the company’s source materials. The second phase marked the development of a research proposal submitted within the framework of the N.R.S.F.-funded action “Aristeia II” under the acronym A.R.C.H. An international scholarly committee evaluated their proposal and selected it for funding at the start of 2014.
Today the ARCH project is implemented by a research team of twenty-four participants. The team comprises lecturers, researchers, graduate and undergraduate students, from across various institutions: the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, the University of Crete, the University of the Peloponnese, the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, the Academy of Athens, the Harokopion University, the University of the Aegean, Stanford University and the University of Sorbonne-Paris IV. Experts in the fields of archival and library sciences, informatics, communication, visual design and audio-visual arts assist them as external collaborators. Anna Tabaki, professor of Theatre Studies at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, and guest researcher at the National Hellenic Research Foundation, is the project leader.
The ARCH project runs in Italy, Greece and other European countries, and aims to conduct primary research in the field of theatre studies. The Socìetas Raffaello Sanzio, the internationally acclaimed theatre company, remains at the heart of this undertaking. Research on the artistic oeuvre of the company is oriented along two axes: comprehensive study and analysis of invaluable primary materials, and the organizational tasks required for the documentation, digitization and diffusion of those materials.