The Centre

The Centre has the purpose of recovering and valorizing the archival documentation collected, the bibliographic and audiovisual one, as well as oral sources concerning the birth and the evolution of the cooperative movement.

The Centre

The Italian Documentation Centre on Cooperatives and Social Economy is the national reference centre for the preservation and diffusion of the cooperative culture. Along years the centre recovered and valorized the archival documentation, the bibliographic, audiovisual ones and the oral sources concerning the beginning and the development of the movement, promoting the knowledge of principles and values of which the cooperative experience is an historical holder.



The Centre should carry out :

  • the collection and the cataloging of the documentary material
  • promote and make historical, political and social-economical researches
  • spread cooperative culture in school, university, cultural institutions, also through the publication of books and documents having monographic or periodical feature
  • organize congresses, discussions, stages having also formative features

Areas of interest

The Centre is specialized in economical, historic and social subjects concerning the Italian cooperative movement, in particular about the cooperative doctrine and social economy,

Our short history

The Centre was born in 1988 upon a congressional mandate of Legacoop Bologna and in 1997 became a legally recognized association. The Protocol underwritten on a national level ricognized the Centre as the instrument in charge of the collection, conservation and custody of the documentary sources in the cooperative area field. With its important cultural patrimony the Centre is a place of transmission of the historical memory, an essential element for the individual and collective identity of cooperation and for the future of the cooperative idea.


The seat

The Convent and the Cloister, on which part of the premises of the centre's library and reading room are oriented, belong to the oldest part of the whole complex, dating back to the fifteenth century.
In particular the premises presently used as Meeting hall and offices were part of the Convent (mess hall, members of religious order rooms), suppressed in the Napoleonic period and then transformed up to 1980 into the buildings of the Contavalli Theater-cinema, and now partially used as a civil living estate.


How to reach us

In bus:

  • from railway station: bus n.50 bus stop "Piazza S. Martino"
  • from Marconi airport: Aereobus (about 15 minutes) bus stop "Via Indipendenza - S.Pietro".

By car: beltway exit n.7, take up via Stalingrado and go on towards the Historical Center (Limited Traffic Area). At the end of the bridge, turn left and to go on in Viale Berti Pichat up to Piazza di Porta S. Donato. Turn right (via Irnerio), to reach the underground parking of Piazza VIII Agosto, opposite to the Giardini della Montagnola.


Time schedule and entry

Opening hours for public:

  • from monday to friday 9.00-13.00 and 14.00-17.30
Free entrance, after filling out of an entrance form, for :
  • Access to bibliographic catalogues and to data banks.
  • Consultation of the material requested.
  • Specialized Reference: definition of the research course and of the access keys, such as authors, titles, subjects and classifications.