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Italian family papers, 1200s-1900s

Main content

  • Pietro Parenzi notarial document, 1239.
    Pietro Parenzi notarial document, 1239: Piccolomini Family Papers, Ms. Coll. 742, folder 2 (detail)
  • Letter written by an unidentified sender to Diego Naselli of Naples, pertaining to the guardianship and inheritance of Princess Marianna Grifeo di Partanna, daughter of Prince Leopoldo Grifeo di Partanna
    Letter written to Diego Naselli of Naples, pertaining to the guardianship of Princess Marianna Grifeo di Partanna, Naples 1826-7, Naselli Family papers (Ms. Coll. 788, folder 106, 2r, detail)

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The Kislak Center holds substantial collections of family papers from Italy, containing a wide range of documents dating from the Middle Ages and Renaissance into modern times. This webpage provides an overview of these diverse collections.

Collection strengths

Included among the wide variety of subjects that these materials cover are the following:

Civil and canon law

Property law, inheritance, and succession

The Papacy

Merchant culture and practices

Agriculture, food production, and consumption

Material culture

Accounting and banking

The cities and regions of Italy that are covered by these collections include:

Arezzo; Genoa; Florence; Naples; Sicily; Siena

Some materials related to Spanish families who migrated to Italy. Languages include Italian, Latin, and Spanish.

Collection descriptions

Piccolomini family papers, 1197?-1724 (Ms. Coll. 742, 4 boxes and oversize materials): 129 mostly notarial and legal documents addressed to or relating to the Piccolomini family, most written in the 15th and 16th centuries. Many of the documents relate to the Church and papal intrigues, but most cover legal topics. View individual records for the Piccolomini family papers, sorted by date (oldest to newest).

House of Medici papers, 1219-1796 (Ms. Coll. 749, 42 boxes): Collection concerning the Medici family, their numerous enterprises (including banking, manufacturing, and commerce), as well as their political, diplomatic, and governmental positions in Florence, with the bulk of the material from the 16th and 17th century. View individual records for the House of Medici papers, sorted by date (oldest to newest). See also: Gondi-Medici Business Records.

Villafiorita Ducal Records, 1340-1928 (Ms. Coll. 788, 41 boxes): Papers of members of Sicilian families, often of Spanish descent, and documents pertaining to some of the territories they inhabited. Among the families whose papers are contained in these records are:


Arrigucci family papers, 1379-1674 (Ms. Coll. 751, 2 boxes): legal, financial and notarial documents, including confessions; accounts, and genealogical information.

Gondi Family papers, 1418-1753 (Ms. Coll. 750, 9 boxes): Papers of members of the Gondi family, dealing with numerous aspects of their private lives (including correspondence between family members and with other Florentine and French aristocrats; wills and dowries; and real estate dealings); public positions (including diplomatic correspondence with the grand-ducal administration and the French court); and economic activities. View individual records for the Gondi Family papers, sorted by date (oldest to newest). See also: Gondi-Medici Business Records.

Carretto family papers, ca. 1500-1648 (Ms. Coll. 732, 1 box): Individual documents contain discussions between rulers of Finale Ligure and other locations, such as Genoa, primarily regarding investitures, trade and sea navigation rights, food and salt.

Aitala family papers, ca. 1926-2001 (Ms. Coll. 697, 5 boxes): Documents, notebooks, and diary entries relaying the narrative of the Aitala family's migration through and immigration from Italy to the United States during and after World War II.


Acquisition history