The Foundation started in 1964 with the aim of creating a cultural institution able to exploit a great cultural heritage in the context of socio-economic sciences, with maximum flexibility. Historical, economic and sociological interests, which were at the centre of Luigi Einaudi’s arduous industriousness and were reflected in his vast library, were still minor disciplines in Italy at that time. However, the goal of the Foundation was not merely the conservation of the Einaudian cultural legacy but, on the contrary, its reuse as an active resource in an effort to promote the evolution and development of economic, historical-economic and social studies.
At the time of its creation, the Foundation benefited from the financial support of its sponsoring bodies: Turin Provincial Council and Turin Council, the Cassa di Risparmio di Torino, the Istituto Bancario San Paolo of Turin and FIAT company. Additional support came from the Fondazione Enrico e Agostino Rocca and from the Bank of Italy.
Since these initial contributions, the Foundation has received contributions from the Italian State, the Ministry of Cultural Assets, Piedmont Regional Government, the Chamber of Commerce of Turin, several private companies, and the San Giacomo Charitable Foundation.
Throughout decades of activity, the Foundation has concretely given its contribution to post-graduate training of more than 650 young scholars through scholarships and research aids. Not less than half of the recipients of these contributions have utilized resources from their scholarships to start research in foreign universities, as Cambridge and Oxford in UK and Harvard, Princeton and Stanford in the USA.
Since its origins, the Foundation has identified the creation of an international network of culture as one of its primary duties. The nature of the Foundation, as a centre where research and documenting combine, is the result of the driving force of its Scientific Committee, where numerous names of celebrated scholars stand out, both in academia and in high held political office.
At this point, a special acknowledgement must be given in memory to those who significantly contributed to the success of the Foundation: firstly Mario Einaudi who was president for the first twenty years, then Luigi Firpo who was superintendent of the Library and the Historical Archive and also Marino Berengo, Federico Caffè, Franco Momigliano, Claudio Napoleoni, Alessandro Passerin d’Entrèves, Rosario Romeo, Piero Sraffa and Franco Venturi.
The original Statute (1966) of the Foundation underwent subsequent variations and it is now in force as modified in 2013.