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Heart of the Archivio di Stato

The heritage of the Archivio di Stato

For many years, the Archive was considered a musty place, reserved for specialists. In fact, today it is opening up to a vaster public than ever before. Its specific character is underlined by the type of item that it conserves, which set it aside a library or museum.

The documents are not tools for the immediate dissemination of culture; they were created to meet legal, administrative and practical goals and not to be consulted (like a book), or appreciated and collected (like a work of art).

The heritage conserved in an Archive is closely linked to the functions and activities of the offices, organisations, companies and individuals who have created and preserved these papers.

To orient his search for documents, the user of the archives is offered several tools that enable him to explore the various nuclei and, when he is in the reading room, he can also avail himself of the assistance of the archivists, thanks to whom even a non-expert member of the public will easily identify the documents he is looking for.

The archival records are organised on the basis of the entities that created them (organisations, families, individuals), received them, collected them, organised and/or conserved them over the years. Before undertaking a document search, it is first necessary to place the object of the investigation in a vaster context, so as to trace the activities and then the organisations that might be involved. Having identified the subject and the most useful records, the reader can then consult the inventory of the fonds, when one is available, a precious tool for any research.

The inventory describes the items that make up an orderly archive. More or less analytically, depending on the degree of precision adopted to compile it, it often opens with a brief introduction to the history of the Archive, the organisation that has produced it, and the criteria adopted to arrange it and draw up the inventory.

Once the items of interest have been identified, the individual can order bundles, i.e. the containers in which the documents are stored, either loose or collected in files. To protect the integrity and original structure of the Archive, which is guaranteed by the correspondence that positions a single document inside an orderly, logical whole, the order of the papers inside the bundle must not be modified during consultation, nor must papers from different bundles be confused.

Written by Redazione Web ASTO   
Tuesday, 28 July 2009 13:43
Last Updated ( Friday, 30 September 2011 08:14 )
Created by Redazione ASTO
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