The Historical Archives of the Municipality of Bologna

Name: Historical Archives of the Municipality of Bologna
Address: Via Tartini, 1 - zip code 40127 Bologna - Italy
Telephone: +39 051 500401 - +39 051 203500
Fax: +39 051 503723 - +39 051 204544
Name of director: Lucia Marani
Number of employees: 5
Opening hours: Mondays-Saturdays: 8.30 a.m. - 1.00 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays also from 3.00 p.m. to 5.00 p.m.

At the end of 1997 the Municipality of Bologna voted the deliberation establishing the Historical Archives, to be housed, after renovation, in a building previously used as a wood-working shop, nearby the University. The Archives house invaluable historical and cultural documents, in particular for local history. The archives material, covering more than 5 km of shelves and racks, is composed of the following:


  • Documentation dating back to Napoleon's period (1797) and following years until 1958.

AGGREGATED HOLDINGS (issued by other bodies and institutions):

  • Documentation dating back to the 16th century, belonging to the Pious Schools Archives;
  • Documentation from the Archives of Municipal Charity and Pious Actions Institutions, pertaining to Bologna, from the 14th century to 1984;
  • Documentation of the Cassarini-Pallotti Archives of from 1909 to 1980.

The new premises also house the Registration Archives, holding files and papers from 1959 to the present time. Services provided to the public are the following:

  • reading-room, provided with PCs, enabling scholars to enter the database containing documents issued and received by the Municipal Administration from 1911 to 1966, as well as facilitating the search for acts and laws also made available on a computer format. Scholars can also look into inventories of Municipal document stores from 1797 to 1910 and from aggregated holdings;
  • advise, support and guidance provided by staff in the reading-room;
  • loaning of documents for exhibitions and cultural events;
  • multivalent room for group activities, teaching activities, lectures;
  • issuing of true copies of original documents;
  • photocopying of documents and possibility of taking photos with one's own equipment in a special room;
  • sending, via electronic means, of information on stored items and scanned images of papers and documents requested by Municipal offices and outside users;
  • link-up with the information network of the Municipality, thanks to the cabling of the entire building.

Within the framework of Bologna as European city of culture for the year 2000, a project is undergoing now for the creation of a "Teaching workshop in archival disciplines", a service for schools and higher learning institutes, pursuing the aim of facilitating the approach to archival sources by teachers and students, and of disseminating a wider knowledge of archival heritage.

The Archives may be visited not only by scholars, researchers and students, but also non specialised users. Access is free. All stored documents may be viewed, except for the ones considered confidential in compliance with specific legislation or regulations.


"Insignia", 1796. The "Camera actorum", the first archives of the Municipality of Bologna, in the premises of King Enzo Palace, in a miniature from the 18th century (ASBo, Anziani Consoli, vol. XIII, c. 59a, III bimestre 1796, Photo: MV).

Rooms of the Historical Archives of the Municipality, where registered documents and papers are stored (Photo: MV).