In 2014 the Federico Zeri Foundation came into possession of the collection of Milanese restorer and connoisseur Alberto Protopapa (1953-1993), via Donald Prochera, his executor.

It comprises 364 photo objects (positives, negatives, diacolors and polaroids) and 515 attachments (photocopies of paintings, extracts from books and auction catalogues, handwritten and typed notes). They document artworks on unconventional supports, such as slate, marble, copper and glass, the work of Italian and foreign artists between the 16th and 18th centuries.

Alberto Protopapa amassed the collection under guidance from Federico Zeri between 1990 and 1993. The project set out to create an encyclopaedic catalogue of such painting. Protopapa’s book collection is housed at the Milan Institute for the History of Lombard Art.

The materials are displayed in 8 boxes and 12 files arranged in alphabetical order by author and school, as well as thematically by iconographic derivation, and geographically. One of the box is exclusively devoted to 32 typewritten sheets containing a more copious list of works than those documented in the collection.

The archive is currently being re-ordered and is not open to consultation. An archive description of the whole collection will be available online as of October 2020.