Historical Library

Grandi fund

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The bibliographical collection of Terence Grandi aims, as he had to declare its possessor, "to sample the only book production of a medium-sized print shop in Turin in a fiftieth anniversary, and in addition to represent my work as a printer, sometimes as a publisher of books and newspapers" (from the interview given to Cronache da Palazzo Cisterna, 1st May 1968). It's a small but significant collection, of about 600 works, and is the testimony of Terence Grandi's love for the book, the art of printing and the Mazzini ideal.

Grandi, born in Valenza in 1884, established himself as a publicist and, after a period of apprenticeship at the Battezzati printing works in Valenza, he worked in Turin as a printer from the early 1900s. He lived for eighteen years in London, where he worked as a printing worker at the Awakening printing works of the Baptist Missionary Society in London. Back in Italy, he proposed himself as a small industrial in the sector, from 1919 to 1963, with the Graphic establishment Foa becoming Impronta from 1938.

The last part of his life was entirely occupied by his passion for historical studies, with particular attention to the figure of Giuseppe Mazzini, studying which he had the opportunity to openly manifest his anti-fascism, and to express his fervent republican activism. He was several times secretary of the Republican Party of Turin. For his anti-fascist ideas in 1928 he was subjected to many searches and was also imprisoned.

In the collection abound books of Resurgence history and historical documentation of Mazzini, the diary of an invalid mutilated World War I, the book of a persecuted Catholic modernist, the autobiographical novel of a valiant Protestant friend, then killed during the Resistance.

We also note the first five issues of Piero Gobetti's Liberal Revolution and the first two editions of the weekly Justice and Freedom. There is also a large group of books and pamphlets with autograph dedication of the authors, received as a gift from friends during his long activity as a publicist. Among his works we would like to remember Female emancipation (Rome, 1906), The work of G.B. Bodoni (Turin, 1913), Typographical Futurism (Turin 1916), Anedoctic Mazzini (Turin, 1955), Mazzini in poetry (Pisa, 1959), G. Mazzini's thoughts (Alpignano, 1961), Un mazziniano piemontese, Raffaele Vita Foa (in Bollettino della Domus mazziniana, 1964), Ghisleri uomo (Turin, 1968), Giuseppe Mazzini's political writings (edited by Grandi himself, Turin, 1972). Grandi died in Turin on July 4, 1981.