The Archive of Catalogue Records holds all the paper-based catalogue records, with related graphic material, photographs and maps, produced by MiBAC superintendencies and other state institutions throughout the nation, whether under regular operations or special projects.
The Archive also gathers other catalogue material produced by the Italian regions and major non-governmental institutions responsible for census and cataloguing of cultural heritage, as specified in agreements with the ICCD.
The largest group of holdings consists of the catalogue sheets produced between 1969 and 1992 in the formats established by the Central Office for Cataloguing. This office was originally formed under the Museums Division of the former Directorate-General for Antiquities and Fine Arts of the Ministry for Public Instruction. In 1975, with the formation of the new Ministry of Cultural and Environmental Heritage, the Office was restructured as the Central Institute for Cataloguing and Documentation.
Since 1993 the Archive has continued to acquire large numbers of catalogue records produced under “Operation Emergency”, by the MiBAC superintendencies and other state agencies. These are prepared on paper-based forms but with “fields” appropriate for transfer to computerised databases.
Other records produced under so-called “special cataloguing projects” (e.g. Law 84/90 and Law 16/88) have also provided notable additions. In this case the documents are print-outs from computerised data, rather than manual entries on purpose-designed forms.
The Archive continues to gradually acquire catalogue cards produced prior to 1992, from the deposits of various regional and national agencies, and other print-outs produced from recent computerised cataloguing projects. All such acquisitions are filed with the related photographs, graphic material and maps.
The Archive of Catalogue Records also includes the historic archive of documents forwarded to the Central Office for Cataloguing in 1969, at its founding. These collections consist of approximately 200,000 catalogue records completed between 1892 and 1969, using a series of prescribed card and sheet formats. The oldest records date from the period of the first laws on cultural heritage under the Kingdom of Italy, enacted at the close of the 19th century. They offer rich and invaluable documentation of the first attempts at recording and publicising the nation’s historic-artistic properties, including inventories of buildings and their movable properties, generally with quite accurate description, and often with added historical-critical commentary and in some cases photographs.
In 2002 the Archive of Catalogue Records began a project to prepare computerised copies of the “Historic Archive” holdings, along with a database identifying the documents and the properties described or listed. In 2006, the entire database was made available for registered users, with on-line access via the MiBAC Virtual Private Network. The historic fonts thus now serve as a “reference archive”, and for special public Internet events promoting the ICCD and its activities.