The Piacenza State Archives are under the control of the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Tourism. All historical archives of the state offices of the province of Piacenza are required to transfer their records to the Piacenza State Archives. This archive also preserves all other archival or documentary collections, of any historical importance, that have been placed here for temporary care, or attained by donation or purchase.
Before the unification of Italy, a number of State Archives already existed in the various States which made up the Italian peninsula. In the Dukedom of Parma, Piacenza and Guastalla, these were established in Parma in 1816 to supplant the Farnese Secret Archives. In Piacenza, just as in Parma, previous Archives of the local Ducal Chamber had existed and were located inside the Viscontean citadel. In 1867, the Public or Notary archives were established. These existed alongside the “Archives of the Community”, that is of the “Comune”, or city of Piacenza.
The Piacenza State Archives has a relatively short history. It brought together the two archives that preceded it: the Archives of the Community (later Comune Archives) and the Public or (Notary) ones. The present Archives were established as a Division of the State Archives by Ministerial decree on 16th October 1954. The first director of the archives was Andrea Ostoja in 1955. He was followed by Ettore Falconi, from 1956 to 1959, who was renowned for his diplomatic editions. Corrado Pecorella, from 1959 to 1961, was an expert in notary studies. Piero Castignoli, eminent archivist and renowned Medieval scholar, directed the Archives for over thirty years from 1961 to 1995. Gabriele Nori took over in 1995, and Gian Paolo Bulla has been in charge since June 2000.
The Piacenza State Archives protects and preserves an important portion of Italian history. In the last few years the Archives have taken on the added mission of promotion of the activities of the archives to the public and media. In order to promote and publicize their role, the Piacenza State Archives has established relationships with the political and administrative institutions, associations and cultural institutes, schools and universities, local authorities, businesses and professions present in the Piacenza area. All of these relationships allow the State Archives to affirm their role and pursue their objectives through various outreach projects, and to safeguard and consolidate the cultural heritage of the State and of the city of Piacenza.
“A memoria d'uomo” (Within living memory): the Piacenza State Archives tell their own tale. This video, filmed by Enzo Latronico, can be seen in parts on YouTube.