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  /  personaggi luoghi storia   /  Historical archive of Cetona

Historical archive of Cetona

The historical archive is located on the second floor of Palazzo Minutelli, headquarters of the Municipality of Cetona, and houses the writings of the community that survived fires (1522 and 1660), relocation (Sarteano and Siena) and destruction (1929).

For years the papers were kept without any order or inventory in two rooms near the chancellery. A letter from Chancellor Vagnoli, addressed in 1746 to the auditor Neri, precisely describes the conditions in which the documents were found: “in great confusion or because they are arranged randomly and without order or because they are mixed up with each other“, declaring, moreover, to have organised the papers that “I have separated, arranged in the order that will be shown below” since “in this archive there is no index, nor inventory, nor is it known if anyone has one for their own use or private study, indeed having found everything in complete disarray, I am given to believe that no one is employed in it”.

Only in 1870 did the municipal council decide to allocate one hundred lira to have the papers correctly and definitively put in order. The task conferred upon the municipal secretary Bastianelli in 1899 ended in 1901. A few years later in 1920, an agreement was stipulated between the Prefectural Commissioner of the Municipality of Cetona and the Director of the State Archive of Siena to store all Cetona’s documents dating from before 1860 in the Siena offices. For the occasion, an inventory of 248 documents was drawn up including a brief description. The papers finally returned to Cetona in 1929. During the war years, however, the archive was in a state of total abandonment, the documents stacked without order, sometimes transferred to other locations. An attempt at reorganisation was made by Faeti, archivist of the Prefecture, who in 1948, without creating an inventory, divided the papers by category and chronology, but only in 1971 did Raoul Rossi organise, for the first time, the papers from the pre-unification period according to chronological criteria, dividing those that followed into fourteen open series.

The historical section is currently divided into three parts: pre-unification archive (1463-1865); post-unification archive (1865-1974), divided into 31 open series, which contains documents from the filing archive; and aggregated archives of documentation for individuals or institutions other than the Community. In particular, the pre-unification archive was organised into three different sections; the inventory of the first part includes the oldest texts: Community of Cetona up to 1558, Vitelli Marquisate, Community of Cetona from 1597 to 1776, Land of Cetona and Community of Cetona (1807-1808). The remaining sections are related to the Mairie (1808-1814), the Community of Cetona (1814-1865) and the Chancellery up to 1865.