Elisabetta Colombo

The fragmentation of private archives as public policy: Francesco Novati's documents

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Administrative History; Archives; Libraries; Institutes of Conservation; Francesco Novati.

Private documents, which for a long time were not considered as archives, were preserved in libraries and underwent reorganizational and inventory methods of bibliographic origin carried out by personnel who were not necessarily equipped with archiving competencies. Unawareness of the natural link that also binds private documentation, if it is the result of an activity and ordered according to organizational criteria, has in many cases determined its fragmentation and dispersion. The author deals with these theoretical aspects, rebuilding the complex events of the rich archive and book heritage of a great scholar who lived between the 19th and 20th centuries: the romance philologist and medievalist Francesco Novati, a representative of the so called 'Historical School'. From this reconstruction, however, emerge above all the administrative decisions of the directors of libraries where the various excerpts of archives were preserved or found again, thus portraying a piece of administrative history of the institutes of conservation by means of the narrative of an archival fond.

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