Event: The Comparative History of Archives in Late Medieval and Early Modern Italy, Birkbeck, Univeristy of London

10 June 2013

Politics and the Archives, Politics of the Archives

A one-day conference, Monday 10 June 2013, Birkbeck, University of London, 11am-5pm, Dreyfus Room, 26 Russell Square (TBC)

The history of archives reveals the evolving priorities of the institutions that assembled them; their shifting organization reflects changes in wider worldviews; and the conditions of their use point to developments not just in political but also in social and cultural history. A new project led by Filippo de Vivo at Birkbeck, University of London, studies the history of archives and of the chanceries that oversaw their production, storage and organization in late medieval and early modern Italy. More information at


After workshops about recent tendencies in the history of archives, and about the role of archives in provincial communities, this conference investigates the relations between politics and archives. Why did governments invest so much energy in the preservation of astonishing amounts of records? How were the chanceries of republics different from those of principalities, and how did archives evolve following regime changes? When and where did secular institutions start relying on their own authority rather than utilising the services of imperial- or papal- notaries? And how Italy compare with other European cases?

Places are limited. There is no fee. Tea and coffee will be provided, but no lunch. If you would like to participate, please write to Dr Alessandro Silvestri at a.silvestri@bbk.ac.uk.


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