Home Stories from the Archives The burned papers of the First Series of the Municipal Section

The burned papers of the First Series of the Municipal Section

Some pages of the “burned” volumes belonging to the First Series of the Municipal Section

During the Second World War the entire corpus of documents constituting the Historical Archives of the municipality of Naples was transferred, to be placed in safety, from the headquarters of Palazzo San Giacomo to the Maschio Angioino and precisely in the underground rooms of the Torre Beverello.

The “papers” were saved from the devastation of the conflict but not from a reckless looting, which deprived the documentary corpus of the most valuable documents.

In 1946 the documentation was ordered back to its institutional headquarters. The day before, to conceal the thefts, an arson fire was set by an unknown hand that destroyed most of the Charters. The greatest damage was mainly to the Ancient Section which originally, as described by Bartolomeo Capasso in his Catalogue of Books Registers and Scriptures of the Municipal Archives of Naples, it comprised about 3,000 archival units, of which only 10% escaped the fire and at least half, being partially burned, could not be consulted.

In 2018, the Municipal Historical Archives joined the project of “Digitalization use and preservation of the cultural heritage of archives and libraries of the Campania region”, which allowed to acquire a portion of the surviving documentary heritage, for a total of about 500,000 images.

These were entirely poured into the Portal of the Metropolitan City allowing, after more than eighty years, the study of the ancient magistrates that governed the City of Naples.