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Archive and Library

One of the principal foundations for research is a specialized library in prehistoric and tribal art on a world-wide scale and the scientific archives which consist of the principal existing documentation on rock art throughout the world. Each year the library acquires 500 new volumes. The library of the center is open and available every day, from Monday to Friday.

OPAC library catalog

Archivi fotografici:The biggest archive that humanity possesses on its past is composed of images left over during the last 50,000 years by the communities spread in all the habitable areas of the globe. Millions of pictures are depicted on open-air rocks, in caves, onto the artifacts found in archaeological sites. The immensity of the discoveries that annually enrich this heritage, the awareness of what it might mean for contemporary culture and for future generations, compelled the creation of a global database able to provide access to their recording and to constitute the base for their survival.
In this context, the WARA project - World Archive of Rock Art - was created during the 80’s by Emmanuel Anati, who established its permanent base at Centro Camuno di Studi Preistorici, Valcamonica (Italy). The seminal draft came after Anati got in charge of the first global survey of rock-art commissioned by UNESCO in 1982. The limited tools available at the time lead to the creation of a simple prototype with searching masks and keywords (a legacy of that work is still present under the label WARA.old). This first attempt was substantially a photo gallery, where each photo was accompanied by a specific data sheet. This effort showed that the huge amount of data to be catalogued needed a careful normalization to avoid dangerous redundancies. This early experience formed the basis for the planning of a new database, called
In more than 40 years the project has gathered a vast documentation on the creative manifestations of prehistoric and tribal populations: photographic film-strips in 35mm or medium format (mostly B/W), color slides, photographic prints, digital photographs (from 2003), tracings, rubbings, casts, hundreds of reports and maps of the rock art sites in five continents. To limit the damage caused by decay of materials through time the complete digitization in high resolution and a re-organization into a modern database was started in 2004. Until now the CCSP has digitized 20 % of the photographic documents existing in the archive. The vast amount of rock-art recording preserved at CCSP is already considered one of the largest and most comprehensive worldwide resources in the field of rock art: a solid basis for research, documentation, preservation and for analytical, comparative, educational and cultural studies. In addition to historians, archaeologists, anthropologists, sociologists these documents affect graphic designers, educators, psychologists, organizers of exhibitions and museums, publishers, municipalities and government agencies.
The next big challenge is now the implementation of a database able to inter-connect the photographic archive with other scientific information produced and managed by CCSP (GPS information about the carved rocks, tracings, bibliographies, park details, scientific articles, monographs, etc.). It is a project that involves new technologies and applies innovative systems of structural analysis in order to achieve flexibility and efficiency in managing different data sources. is easily accessible from CCSP website to a growing number of institutions and specialists who want to use it.