Historical Archive

The Historical Archive of the Municipality of Genoa is housed in the east wing of the Palazzo Ducale, where it was transferred in 1994, following significant restoration works in the historical building, originally dating from the second half of the 13th century.
The archive contains the documents relating to the administration of the city from the 15th century to the first half of the 20th century. The oldest part is formed by the fonds of the Benches of the Republic of Genoa, responsible for the administration and provisioning of the city: the Padri del Comune, the Censori, the Abbondanza, and the Provvisori del Vino.
The “antique” nature of these documents has always characterised the civic archive of Genoa, as compared to those of other cities, despite sharing a similar institutional history. This led the City Council to make specific choices ahead of their time, in that they separated the historical archive from the current and deposit archives; rather, it was housed in the Office of Fine Arts and History, thus recognising the cultural and legal value of the documents, well before the relevant national legislation. As a matter of fact, the separation of the Historical Archive of Genoa dates back to 1906, when the City Council, at the proposal of Gaetano Poggi, approved the innovative project of setting up a special office in charge of the preservation, use and re-ordering of the historical, artistic and scientific treasure of Genoa, which had grown significantly in previous decades thanks to donations from Prince Oddone of Savoy, naturalist Marquis Giacomo Doria, and the Duchess of Galliera, Maria Brignole Sale.