The Historical Archives' principal search tool is the database of textual records. It displays not only the inventory cards for each fonds but also images of digitized documents. The database now contains some 280,000 inventory cards, organized according to ISAD(G) rules. The electronic cards created so far cover 29 per cent of the documents held and relate to the most commonly consulted sub-fonds. Nearly 22 million digitized images are now available, or 27 per cent of all the documentation. The cards are very highly detailed, counting some 60 fields and distinguishing between the original data and additional information.
The database represents an effective response to the needs of document management and search. You can not only navigate among the hierarchical levels but also search the entire holding of inventories. Finally, as you navigate the search application enables you to select the images of the documents you want so as to order reproductions as desired.
Another useful search tool is the Guide to the Historical Archives. First released in 1993, notwithstanding a series of restructurings over the years it remains a helpful tool for approaching the collections and the institutional and administrative history of the Bank of Italy.
The Guide is flanked by the series of Historical Archives Working Papers, created in 2010 to exploit the collections thanks to the publication of inventories of fonds, guides to sources on specific topics, long-term working materials, collections of especially important documents (occasional reports, periodical reports, correspondence), monographs on the holdings. Other search tools for scholars are a complete list of supervised banks from 1926 to 1960 (except the special credit institutions, engaged in longer-term credit) and the inventories of the De' Stefani Papers and the Stringher Papers, printed and published before computerized cataloguing was begun in 1988. The Historical series of the Bank of Italy and the Historical research papers make ample use of documents from the Historical Archives to provide extensive information on the collections (see in particular Historical research papers 2,3,4 and 9).
Search tools list
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.
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.