The first group of this collection was formed in 1913 with the bequest of Francesco Polleri, including several hundred holographs, letters and other writings by illustrious figures of all eras and countries, mainly from the Italian 19th century and the Risorgimento.
The majority consists of letters by famous musicians, librettists and singers (Vincenzo Bellini, Jules Massenet, Saverio Mercadante, Felice Romani, Adelina Patti, Giuditta Pasta etc.). Also worth mentioning are the holographs by politicians (Adolphe Thiers, Léon Gambetta, Jules Ferry), writers (Emile Zola, Victor Hugo, Dumas fils), mathematicians, astronomers (G.D. Cassini), playwrights and actors (Giacinto Gallina, Ermete Novelli, Eleonora Duse), as well as holographs by Charles V, Jean Baptiste Colbert, Eugenia Bonaparte, the wife of Napoleon III.
In 1937 Mgr. Giacomo M. De Amicis, vicar of the Genoese Curia, donated to the Archive a group of fifty-five letters, written by Giuseppe Verdi to his uncle, Giuseppe De Amicis.
In the same year, the City acquired around a hundred letters, dated between 1786 and 1848, addressed to Ippolito Durazzo and to his son Marcello, which were soon joined by correspondence addressed to Jacopo D’Oria and to Gian Carlo Di Negro, donated by the D’Oria family.
The inventory of the holographs was published by R. Ponte in "Atti della Società Ligure di Storia Patria", New Series XXXIX, Genoa 1994, pp. 393-460. In recent years the collection has been further expanded with material relating to the great violinist Nicolò Paganini, for a total of eleven manuscript documents from between 1831 and 1839. Connected to this collection are also the Manuscript no. 49, acquired in 1882 and containing 95 letters addressed to Giannettino Giustiniani and handwritten by Cardinal Giulio Mazarino; and the rich correspondence belonging to the Brignole Sale family.