The chief search tool at the textual records archive is its electronic database, which displays not only the descriptive catalogue records but also the images of digitized documents. The database now contains over 325,000 catalogue records, organized according to the hierarchy of description defined in ISAD(G) rules. The electronic records created so far cover 30 per cent of the documents held at the Head Office, prioritizing the most commonly consulted fonds and sub-fonds. Nearly 45 million digitized images are now available, or 27 per cent of all holdings. The catalogue records are very highly detailed, counting some 60 fields and distinguishing between descriptive cataloguing elements and additional information.

The database meets the requirements of both archive management and researchers, enabling searches across hierarchical levels and of the entire holding of descriptive records. The search application also enables users to select the images of documents as they navigate and then order copies as desired.

Another useful search tool is the Guide to the Historical Archives, which was first released in 1993. Notwithstanding changes to the archives over the years, it continues to provide a helpful overview of the collections and the institutional and administrative history of the Bank of Italy.

Alongside the Guide, there is the series of Historical Archives Working Papers, created in 2010 to promote awareness of the collections thanks to the publication of inventories of fonds, guides to sources on specific topics, chronological framing tools, collections of especially important documents (occasional reports, periodical reports, correspondence), and monographs on themes documented in the archives. Other search tools for scholars are a complete list of supervised banks from 1926 to 1961 (which does not extend to the special credit institutions, engaged in longer-term credit) and the inventories of the Alberto De' Stefani Papers and the Bonaldo Stringher Papers, printed and published before electronic cataloguing began in 1988, the Guide to the Paolo Baffi Papers, the Index of correspondents, and the Inventory of the Banco di Santo Spirito Fonds. The Historical Series of the Bank of Italy and the Historical Research Papers (now Economic History Working Papers) make ample use of documents from the Historical Archives and provide extensive information on the collections (see, in particular, Historical Research Papers 2, 3, 4 and 9).

List of search tools

Related Topics

Historical Archives Working Papers

A series of papers related to the work of the Historical Archives: inventories of the most important archival fonds; various materials requiring a long period of study; collections of particularly important documents (reports, correspondence, periodic reports, etc.); guides to sources for specific subjects; and monographs on themes related to the holdings. The views expressed in the Papers are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Bank of Italy.

Historical Series of the Bank of Italy

The aim of the Bank of Italy's Historical Series, published by Laterza until 2011 and by Marsilio since 2012, is to make documents, statistics, analyses and monographic studies available to researchers, as instruments serving to stimulate and facilitate research and scholarship.