In 1998, the Provincial Administration decided to acquire the Paolo Cresci Archive, the most important collection of documents on emigration existing in Italy, with the intention of transmitting and making known to an increasing number of people from our land - an area strongly affected by the phenomenon of emigration a fundamental 'piece' of the history of our people told through testimonies, images and documents collected in years of work by Paolo Cresci. A legacy intended especially for young people, for the descendants of the people who left to go far away, because in a world exposed to the risks of homogenization, the rediscovery of one's roots can be a point of reference; for the descendants of those who, instead, stayed here so that, in the face of the same challenges, they may learn that in many cases diversity is richness.
The "Paolo Cresci Foundation for the History of Italian Emigration," established in the spring of 2002, by resolution taken by unanimous vote of the Provincial Administration of Lucca, is a permanent cultural institution joined by, in addition to the Province of Lucca, the Mountain Communities of the territory, the Association Lucchesi nel Mondo, the Chamber of Commerce, the Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Lucca, the Fondazione Banca del Monte di Lucca, and the University of Pisa; is also open to local authorities, associations and private individuals with the aim of enhancing the collection with testimonies and documents, deepening and enhancing, in collaboration with cultural institutes, the history of this important phenomenon, so that it becomes more and more heritage of the whole of Italy.
A memory that is not only historical, but also a reason for reflections aimed at mutual understanding, tolerance and solidarity, as in the case of the serious crisis in Argentina and the initiatives promoted in favor of Lucchesians and their descendants in the years 2002-2003, and the problem of multiculturalism that Italian society, no longer a land of emigration but of immigration, is facing today.
It is in this spirit and on the basis of the indications received from the organs of the Foundation that the initiatives, summarized below, have been carried out from 2002 to the present.