DocSAI Center

The Documentation Center for History, Art and Image (DOCSAI) is not widely known, but it is a place where visitors can discover and examine the history of our city and region through thousands of images and  books (both modern and precious antique modern volumes).

It is a public place of cultural interest which includes: the Topographic and Cartographic Collection, the Photographic Archive and the Art History Library of the Municipality of Genoa.

It is open to the public by appointment to offer more focused consultations or guided tour. It is located in Palazzo Rosso Annexes. The access to the building is located in Via ai Quattro Canti di san Francesco, where a typically late-medieval entrance and an exceptional wooden coffered ceiling of the mid-fifteenth century, with its original polychrome painting decoration, will receive the visitors who enter the Art History Library, the most important of Liguria. 

On the upper floor there are the Topographic and Cartographic Collections: 8.000 images, including prints, watercolors, paintings and projects. In the end, the Photographic Archive includes more than 220.000 images representing the artistic, economic and social life in Genoa from the second half of the nineteenth century to the '60s.

Top Ten

To understand the vastness and heterogeneity of the works preserved at the Documentation Center for History, Art and the Image of Genoa, it is enough to select a few particularly important pieces from those of the Topographical Collection and the DocSAI Photographic Archive .

For example, there are watercolours offering views of the city or designs for an imagined metropolis that was never realized. And, of course, no shortage of scenes from everyday life, rare testimony of how customs in Liguria have changed in the last century as well as many photographs that depict places that have now disappeared or have undergone radical changes.