No. 2 - From the banks of Genoa and Turin to the National Bank: an inventory of the papers of the Bank of Italy's predecessors

The inventory contains a description of some of the oldest documents, and the most important from a historical and archival point view, in the Bank of Italy’s Historical Archives. They are the papers of the Bank of Italy’s forerunners: Banca di Genova (1844-1849), Banca di Torino (1847-1849) and Banca Nazionale, which was the result of the merger of the first two (1849-1893).

The Bank of Italy is the direct descendent, indeed the continuation, of these earlier institutions. Considering the documents produced after 1893, it is clear that what we have is a single, sole that changed its name and legal status, grew or diminished in size sometimes according to national events, adapted its internal structures and created external parallel structures, always retaining its original, traditional characteristics.

Hence, most of the documents produced by Banca Nazionale have been amalgamated with those produced by the Bank of Italy, making it unthinkable to materially separate them according to the name of the institution.

The papers lodged jointly in the current archives were transferred to the historical archives. So, when the capital of Italy was moved first to Florence (1865) and then to Rome (1870), the Bank’s head office, which followed the offices of the central government, brought with it not only the existing staff but also all the documents. From 1946 to 1948 the Rome archives also acquired the body of papers produced by the two previous banks.