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Municipal Historical Archive of the City of Naples

The first traces of an organic collection of documents are to be found at the turn of the 15th and 16th centuries, when the municipal acts of Naples were kept in the municipal seat of the convent of San Lorenzo Maggiore. Confirmation and evidence of this is a resolution of the Elects of the Seats dating back to 1599, which was not implemented until 1659. From then on, the archival corpus was moved to various locations, wandering from the public banks to the flour depot at the Mandracchio wharf, and again to the Monte di Pietà at San Biagio dei Librai and the convent of San Pietro a Maiella, to various food depots, to houses rented for this purpose and even to the private homes of officials appointed to this or that office.

After various wanderings, in 1867 the bulk of the documentation was concentrated in the Palazzo di San Giacomo, former seat of the ministries of the pre-unification Kingdom. The first to approach the municipal archives, scientifically studying its aspects and composition from a historical-archival perspective were Francone and Capasso, who went beyond the legal-administrative aspects of contingent bureaucratic management that had characterised the approach to the archives. This systematic work was undertaken by Salvatore Francone in 1871, in his capacity as archival secretary to the municipal administration; but the one who gave a scientific breakthrough to the reorganisation of the Archives was Bartolomeo Capasso, Archival Superintendent from 1882 to 1899, who dedicated his work to sorting the Archives of the City of Naples free of charge. The work ordered by Capasso was continued by Raffaele Parisi and, at the turn of the century, by Alessandro Cutolo, director of the Naples Municipal Historical Archives, in collaboration with Gustavo Niutta.
The current size of the collection represents only a part of the original documentary collection since, although it was largely spared from war and revolutionary events such as the many popular uprisings, including the so-called Masaniello revolution in 1647, it was severely mutilated by vandalism on 4 March 1946 to the repository of papers stored under the Beverello tower in Castel Nuovo.
The Archive briefly described so far in its historical evolution is what until a few decades ago was identified as the ‘Historical Archive of the City of Naples’, today, following the acquisition of the archives of the former II.PP.AA.BB. is identified in the Municipality Section, physically located in three locations. The documentation prior to 1860, more specifically the 1st and 2nd Series of the classification made by Bartolomeo Capasso, is deposited in the premises of the former Retreat of Santa Maria della Purificazione and SS. Gioacchino ed Anna in Pontenuovo; the 3rd Series, i.e. the documentation after 1860 is partly kept in the premises of the former Monastery of San Lorenzo Maggiore, as far as administrative and government acts produced by the Municipality of Naples are concerned, while the documentation concerning the State Property and Real Estate is kept in Castel Nuovo.
After 1980, the Municipal Historical Archives were enriched with new sections from the former II.PP.AA.BB., in execution of the provisions sanctioned by Presidential Decree No. 616 of 24 July 1977, which implemented the delegation conferred on the Government by Article 1 of Law No. 362 of 22 July 1975 on regional organisation.

The Municipal Historical Archive has four archive locations.

Sede Salita Pontenuovo 31
At the former Retreat of St. Mary of the Purification and Saints Joachim and Anne in Pontenuovo, where the documents of the Municipality Section are kept: I Series (1387-1805) and II Series (1806-1860), the series of Deliberations of the Aggregate Municipalities (1861-1926), the archives of the Public Assistance and Charity Institutes: Collegi Riuniti Principe di Napoli (17th-20th centuries), Real Stabilimento di S. Maria Vertecoeli (17th-XXth centuries), Real Monte del SS. Sacramento (17th-XXth centuries), the Cartographic Fund (18th-XXth centuries), the Photographic Fund (19th-XXth centuries), the Library (18th-XXth centuries), the Nomotheque (19th-XXth centuries).

Archives of the Real Casa Santa dell’Annunziata, located in Via dell’Annunziata, 34.
The documentary corpus that makes up the archive is structured according to the 1891 inventory by G.B. D’Addosio, who divided it into five branches, which in turn are subdivided into fifteen sections, and these in turn are divided into categories that have grown over the years:
Division I: Projetti Branch, Division II: Property Branch, Division III: General Accounting Branch
Division IV: General Affairs Branch
Of particular value is also the parchment background. A collection of royal and viceregal diplomas, papal bulls, wills, notarial deeds comprising 661 parchments dating from 1194 to 177

Archives of San Lorenzo Maggiore
Located in the convent complex of San Lorenzo Maggiore, it houses approximately 2,500 linear metres of documents relating to the administrative activities of the Municipality of Naples (Municipal Council Resolutions, Municipal Council Resolutions, Decrees and Statutory Orders) from 1861 to the early 1990s.

Heritage and State Property Archive
Based in the Watchtower of Castel Nuovo, which houses the Heritage and State Property Archive of the City of Naples. (19th-20th centuries)

The last two archives mentioned hold post-unification administrative documents but are not currently accessible due to structural problems.

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