The Historical Archive

  • 10.000
    archival units
  • 3
    main groups

Between research and conservation, a great collection at the service of the scientific community

The Historical Archive of the Royal Palace of Caserta bears witness to the history of the Vanvitellian Complex and its era. Established by the will of Ferdinand IV of Bourbon with the Royal Despatch of the 25th of May 1784, the Historical Archive of the Royal Palace of Caserta preserves more than 10,000 archival units, with documents covering a time span of over six centuries – from the fifteenth to the mid-twentieth century.In line with the museum’s mission, its research activities promote the study, documentation and knowledge of the complex and its territory, collaborating regularly on training projects. The Restoration Laboratory for Archival and Book Heritage, the Photographic Laboratory and the Digitization Laboratory are part of the Historical Archive. Through their activity, the Royal Palace of Caserta responds to the conservation needs of its delicate documentary heritage and invests in a wider use of its collections, even remotely.

How to access the archive

Notice

Booking required until Covid-19 emergency ends.

Opening times

Monday to Thursday
9:00-16:00
Friday
9:00-13:00

Find out more

The Heart of the Palace of Caserta’s Historical Archive

The main archival core of the Historical Archive is made up of five series covering a time span that extends from about 1750 to the Unification of Italy:

  • San Leucio Administration
  • Accounting
  • Dispatch and Relations
  • R. A.
  • Works and Maintenance
  • Carditello Royal Hunts’ Office
  • Carditello and Calvi

This collection documents the economic and administrative relations of the House of Bourbon with technicians, suppliers, artists and workers of various kinds. Its documents offer detailed information on the Royal Palace of Caserta and the San Leucio complex’s construction and maintenance projects, with the related costs and details on the staff employed. The variety of the collection reflects the role of Charles of Bourbon and his son Ferdinando in the development of the territory.

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Caserta before the Bourbons

The archival collection of “Atti Notarili” contains 402 volumes of protocols that cover almost three centuries of history. Numerous writings of the fifteenth, sixteenth and seventeenth centuries allow us to investigate the socio-economic events of the area before the establishment of the Royal Palace of Caserta. Particularly interesting are, for example, the eighteenth-century copies of the Apprezzii dei beni written by Pietro de Marino and Francesco Guerra in 1730s, or the Apprezzo by Manni. Valuable documents such as these offer an accurate description of the Aragona princes’ estates, purchased by the Bourbons in 1750.

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The Post-unification Archive

The archival collection of “Atti Notarili” contains 402 volumes of protocols that cover almost three centuries of history. Numerous writings of the fifteenth, sixteenth and seventeenth centuries allow us to investigate the socio-economic events of the area before the establishment of the Royal Palace of Caserta. Particularly interesting are, for example, the eighteenth-century copies of the Apprezzii dei beni written by Pietro de Marino and Francesco Guerra in 1730s, or the Apprezzo by Manni. Valuable documents such as these offer an accurate description of the Aragona princes’ estates, purchased by the Bourbons in 1750.

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Photographic Laboratory

Over the course of its history, the Royal Palace of Caserta has established a fair amount of photographic heritage, linked to the events that have interested it and to the activities carried out by the experts on behalf of the various state bodies in charge of its administration. On one hand, the Photographic Laboratory deals with collecting, sorting, conserving and making the accumulated heritage usable and consultable, and on the other it follows, collects and preserves the photographic documentation of all goods within the Royal Palace. Numerous other shots are about the enhancement, maintenance and conservation and restoration activities of the museum institute. The long-term goal and activity of the Photographic Laboratory is to create the Photographic Archive of the Royal Palace of Caserta.

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Digitalisation Laboratory

The digitization of the Royal Palace of Caserta’s documentary heritage is one of the objectives that the museum intends to pursue in the medium and long term in accordance with the provisions of the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development, promoted by the United Nations. The Digitization Laboratory deals with the reproduction of the book, archival and photographic heritage in high and medium definition image formats (TIFF, JPEG 2000, JPEG, etc.), with the conservation of the sedimented and produced digital heritage, as well as with the development adequate remote access systems, through the creation and implementation of shared digital archives.

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