Ministero dei Beni delle Attivitą Culturali e del Turismo Direzione Generale Biblioteche e Istituti Culturali

Historical Archive

Historical ArchiveAlthough at present the Library is an institution quite distinct and separate from the University of Pavia, it is difficult to speak of its historical archive without noting how, back to the origins, the history and the papers of the University of Pavia and the Library were closely intertwined.

Starting from the Teresian reforms, the library was also the place of preservation of the papers related to the University. The first precise information on the amount of the collections held are due to Luigi Lanfranchi, a firm believer of the Historical Archive of the University as "one of 'the main ornaments of this establishment", who wrote a note of the papers relating to the Library of the Royal University of Pavia from 1772 to 1834 and a catalogue of dissertations and academic acts. News can also be found in the Miscellanea Ticinensia, collection of printed pamphlets and manuscripts belonging to Siro Comi, former director of the archive of the University and then of the municipal one.

The dual relationship, financial and administrative, with the Government and the University had many twists and turns: until 1859 Luigi Lanfranchi held direct contacts with the Government of Lombardy remaining independent of the university bodies; in 1860 and in the years immediately following the unification, however, a ministerial provision prescribed a certain dependency, with the obligation for the librarian to "match henceforth directly with the Rector of the University"; that provision was canceled in 1869 when the university libraries, by Royal Decree of 25 November, returned under the direct dependence of the government. The twisty plot between the two institutions explains how their records are, for a time, inextricably linked.

Moreover since 1933 the ancient archive of the university was kept at the Royal Library, under the initiative of Ester Pastorello, first woman to serve as the director of the Library. In that year, Pastorello got the deposit that allowed a partial recovery in the University Archive of five envelopes of documents related to the foundation of the Library until then scattered in folders within the faculty to which the first directors (Gregorio Fontana and then Luigi Lanfranchi) belonged, and secondly the initial reorganization of the Archive under institutions and within them chronologically ordered series of acts on the basis of the statements by the external prof. M. Buzzi. Since then the fate of the cards between University and Library began to separate, until being quite distinct in 1962, year of the transfer of the old part of the Historical university archive at the State Archive of Pavia.

The organization of the Archive

The historical archives of the Library was organized by director Carlo Dell'Acqua (in service from 1879 to 1883), who worked for a system- remained largely unchanged even after - under which documents related to a particular topic were gathered together. Inside the archive, which is currently being reorganized and inventory-taken, a break appeared from 1927 when, considered the same order by titles, a new biennial chronological system was adopted.

The overall data

226 envelopes (sec. XIX - 1975) and 137 records (1787-1974) stored in a single warehouse for a total of 33 linear meters.
There are also 145 manuscript volumes containing catalogs and inventories of library and about 300 folders where they collected the cards sorted alphabetically that made up the catalog of the Library from the XVIII century until the first half of the XX century.