The Historical Archives of the Bank of Italy are one of the most principal sources for the study of Italian economic and banking history in the past two centuries. They conserve documents of prime importance relating to Italian economic and monetary history, the development of the banking system, industrial history, local economies, and international economic relations. They also constitute an important source for historical biography, political history, and even architecture.
The Archives contain the entire set of documents and records produced, received or variously acquired by the Bank of Italy over the years for conservation and public consultation. The collection is divided into three sections: textual records, photographic archives and multimedia archives. The paper-based documents occupy 16 linear kilometers of shelf space; in addition there are more than 13,000 photographs and 5,000 audiovisual items. The records concerning the Bank of Italy and its predecessor institutions run from the mid-nineteenth to the late twentieth century, with a heavier concentration on the period 1860-1970. With the addition of the historical archives of Banco di Santo Spirito, custody of which was recently given to the Bank of Italy, the Archives now contain records dating back to the second half of the sixteenth century. The archive of textual records comprises the Historical Archives of the Bank's Head Office and the historical sections of the branches. The Head Office archives also conserve the records of branches no longer in existence.