The Florence Flood on Film: Days of Destruction and Restoration

Mud Angels and Italian soldiers at the National Library in Florence, November 1966

Mud Angels and Italian soldiers at the National Library in Florence, November 1966. Still from Florence: Days of Destruction by Franco Zeffirelli. Used according to the terms of 17 USC 107 and provided by the University of Maryland Libraries.

Event Information

Date & Time
November 3, 2016 - 7:30pm to 9:30pm
Helmut Stern Auditorium, University of Michigan Museum of Art (UMMA)
Event Type

The Florence Flood happened 50 years ago on November 3rd and 4th, 1966. Join us to view two documentaries: Florence: Days of Destruction, and The Restoration of Books, Florence, 1968.

Although communication to the outside world was limited after the flood, Florentine film director Franco Zeffirelli, who was editing his Taming of the Shrew in Rome, heard about it and rushed to his beloved city to film the days immediately after the flood. His original documentary, Per Firenze (For Florence), and the English version to be screened, Florence: Days of Destruction, are both narrated by Richard Burton.

A year after the flood, Roger Hill, instructor of film-making at the Royal College of Art, London, documented the conservation and restoration efforts at the National Library, Florence, where over a million books were damaged during the flood. Shown in the film The Restoration of Books, Florence, 1968 are scenes of the conservation of mud-covered, battered books as well as demonstrations of a limp-vellum and a full-leather binding, the techniques and materials used to recover thousands of books missing their bindings.

Additional Infomation

Host Unit
Special Collections Library
Library Contact
Martha O'Hara Conway
Host Website
The Flood in Florence, 1966: A Fifty-Year Retrospective
Page maintained by Martha O'Hara Conway
Last modified: 10/31/2016