The work of the Foundation takes up the classical cooperative figure: members are distinct in their functions, but participate in a common enterprise, which comprises a series of structures such as the Dossetti library, the Institute, the Alberigo school, the Andreatta college and the Videohistorylab. All share the results and a certain rigour in the use of methods determined by the urgency of the objectives. A clear indicator and objective measure of our work constitute the working hours – of the day, of the weeks, of the year – and the passion or the dedication as has said His Excellency President of the Italian Republic Giorgio Napolitano about us.
At the centre one finds the research activity, which offers a training to young scholars in an international research community, where one may complete the profiles and abilities tied to the adoption of the historical method and of a diachronic perspective.
The editorial activity which derives from such research is expressed in a journal and collections which are published in various languages with an international audience.
Junior scholars gain maturity through the exercise of research as an exclusive commitment, by listening to great masters, visiting of centers of study in the world, participating in reading seminars of the classics of historiography: each young scholar in four years should be able to produce a monograph which, inserted in a broader horizon of research, should bring a new contribution, developed in comparison with the more experienced scholars of the Institute.
The most important pillars constitute the books and journals of the Giuseppe Dossetti library, instruments for the system of research: new acquisitions are selected during a weekly reunion on the basis of the latest reviews of works, which appear on nearly 1.000 journals in subscription. Since 2005 exists the laboratory of video history which has created exhibitions and documentaries for the different cities of Italy and for the television.
The growth of these activities and relations signified that the center accomplished real projects which have marked also the most intense collaboration with academic institutions worldwide (European networks TRES and Pius XI). In 2003 the UNESCO Chair John XXIII on Religious Pluralism and Peace of the University of Bologna has been entrusted to Giuseppe Alberigo and subsequently to Alberto Melloni.