Romeo Galli

(Imola 1872 - 1945)

He was a librarian and cooperative member, from 1892 he became part of the Socialist Party. He got the technical licence and, after being employed at the registry office in Imola, he worked as a librarian assistant at the Municipal Library in Imola from 1890, he became its executive director from 1895 until 1898 and later managing director until 1938, when he left the office for reasons of age.

He was one of the pioneers of the working and socialist movement in Imola and Andrea Costa’s pupil. From a modest background, he approached very young the socialist and marxist mindset, he studied the English and Belgian cooperative models and developed a vision of cooperativism as an economic cornerstone, capable of reducing the artificial rise of prices and therefore eliminating the capitalist profit.

In 1898 he was among the founders of the Mutual Aid Society in Imola. In 1990 he was among the supporters of the Chamber of Labour in Imola. In 1903 he established the General Cooperative Warehouse in Imola, one of the most important institutions of the consumer cooperation of Bologna, of which he assumed the presidency unitil 1926 and at the same time he supported the creation of several cooperatives of the territory.

Galli was also among the main supporters of numerous other cooperatives of Imola, including the cooperative Bank, Galeati typographic Cooperative, metallurgic Cooperative, woodworkers Cooperative, clay Cooperative, ceramic Cooperative. As many other cooperative members of that time, the arrival of fascism marked a radical change in the professional and existential experience of Galli, who, as an antifascist, was ousted from his offices and and could become again an active animator and restorer of cooperativism in Imola after the end of the regime.

At the age of 73, when he died, he wanted his tombstone to be engraved with “municipal librarian and cooperative member”.

Further reading:

• Romeo Galli, Medaglie imolesi. Personaggi dell'Ottocento e del Novecento, Editrice La Mandragora, Bologna, 2001
• Fausto Mancini, Contributo ad una bibliografia imolese. Gli scritti editi ed inediti di Romeo Galli, Galeati, Imola, 1955
• Quinto Casadio, Uomini insieme. Storia della cooperazione imolese, I volume, La Mandragora, Imola,1996.