05 / 06 / 2020

Digital archives night with MUMAC

The female side of coffee machines: a fresh glimpse into our archive for Archivissima 2020

MUMAC is taking part in the third edition of Archivissima and La Notte degli Archivi, the only Italian festival dedicated to the promotion and enhancement of archival heritage established in 2017 by Promemoria and organised by the Archivissima association in collaboration with Polo del’900.

Since the archives are currently physically closed and therefore cannot be visited by the public, Archivissima has digitally converted the event to highlight the work already done by many archives, including that of MUMAC.

Archivissima has turned digital for the 2020 edition and is using podcasts and videos to present the archival material with the event’s main theme: women, preserved and portrayed by the archives.
In this context, the MUMAC team offers a video story with a virtual journey through photographs, posters, brochures and advertising from the 1950s till nowadays, featuring women-oriented advertising graphic designs that embody the style of the times and promoted not only machines, but also the drink that they produce.

Considering coffee machines from a female perspective, they become a work of ingenuity, designed to carry out a job with excellent profit margins and to dispense one of the world’s most popular drinks: this is how coffee machines also take on a number of associations – generative power, care, daily presence, closeness, warmth, harmony and balance – that can be savoured in a simple cup.

The video is becoming a way to narrate, through a selection of images, both the archive and the MUMAC Library to discover a unique collection with over 25,000 unpublished and fascinating documents and the 1300 volumes of Europe’s most extensive library on the subject of coffee devoted to coffee specialists and coffee lovers. The library’s archival documents and volumes reveal, for example, that women were often the star of stories in the company’s magazine at the time (La Caffettiera by La Cimbali and Caffè Club by Faema), as well as the author of books, such as “Aunt Martha’s corner cupboard stories about tea, coffee, sugar and rice”, written in 1898 by two sisters, Mary & Elizabeth Kirby, the only copy in Italy and Europe.

Influences from different worlds that all share the common denominator of coffee, in a space of important historical and cultural importance for the sector, including posters, postmarks in exquisite Art Nouveau and Deco style, period photographs, catalogues and patents, as well as a collection of historical technical drawings illustrating the history of La Cimbali and Faema, Gruppo Cimbali’s main brands. 

MUMAC’s initiative is part of a busy programme of broadcasts on the Archivissima social medial channels during the Notte degli Archivi, featuring podcasts, videos and content that will tell new stories from the archives.

Discover the Archivissima and La Notte degli Archivi programme here.

we love coffee