University of Catania
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Historical Archive

testo antico
Piazza dell'Università 2 - 95131 Catania

Scientific coordinator: Salvatore Consoli

The Historical Archive is UNICT’s most established place for the conservation of Catania’s collective memory. It is based on the ground floor of the university’s headquarters. Established in 1999, it was deemed to be "of special significance" by the Ministry for Cultural Heritage in 2000 in terms of city’s history. It is the institutional place where documents are progressively collected, organized, preserved and enhanced to bear witness to UNICT’s contribution to its cultural and social milieu. We’re talking projects implementation, admin, teachings and teaching staff, research studies and researchers, services, public bodies, students from different levels and degrees, internal offices, people and individuals, the general public, et cetera.

At present the HA, which has been undergoing modernization and a lot of reorganization from 1998, comprises a few million documents that have been gathered in several tens of thousands of archive inventories: over 9,000 of them are accurately described in the electronic inventory hosted by Arianna software. Some documents from the 15th to the 17th century might have been lost or preserved elsewhere as to why the HA can only afford to go back as far as the end of the 17th century up to 1970 and yet to a date and time beyond that.

The inventory database is developed and compiled in accordance with archival principles by international standards and aids its community members to save knowledge, cultural heritage and history in order to gain and give greater value and wealth to the intellectual output. Qualified personnel work for the HA providing digital access to primary sources of the university’s life as far back as its original documents and copies. Alongside the classic study room for scholars of all types (students, teachers, officials, historians and various enthusiasts), great emphasis is placed on educational visits, internships, exhibitions, conferences, seminars, publications, addressed to the general public who might have an interest in them. UNICT gives free access to the HA, subject to an entry form to be filled in by interested parties.

The HA can be also regarded as a sort of technoscientific foundation, studying and inventorying its materials based on scientific criteria. The Archive cooperates with teaching and research bodies by offering and delivering methodology, research topics and issues in addition to archive contents for an overall increase in the recorded value of our University’s history. In that sense, researchers have been receiving excellent paper-writing tips by the HA in order for them to get started at various levels within the scientific domain (from papers, doctoral theses to writings).

Information and Admission

The study room is open to the public on Mondays and Wednesdays from 9:00 to 13:30, whereas on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:00 to 13:30 and from 15 to 17:30. Visits and appointments can be arranged by contacting the HA by telephone on 095 7307345 - 095 7307412, or by e-mail: