AR.C.H.I.ves workshop

Date: Wednesday 12 December 2012
Time: 2-6pm
Venue: 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 their conditions of accessibility and use point to long-term developments not just in political but also in social and cultural history. A four-year project funded by the European Research Council has now been launched at Birkbeck, University of London, to study the history of archives and of the chanceries that oversaw their production, storage and organization in late medieval and early modern Italy. A website is currently being developed: for more information please click here.

This workshop, the first in a series, is addressed to specialists and non-specialists alike; together with the Material Histories – Archives and Collections research group of the Department of History, Classics and Archaeology, it will discuss recent tendencies in the history of documentary production and organization as developed, too often in parallel, by archaeologists, historians, palaeographers and anthropologists. Places are limited; if you would like to participate, please write to Dr Alessandro Silvestri at

 1.45 Registration

2 .00 Filippo de Vivo (Birkbeck), Introduction

2.15 The “archival turn”: a discussion of Ann Laura Stoler, ‘Colonial archives and the arts of governance’, Archival Science 2 (2002): 87-109.

3.30 Coffee break

3.45 Recent historiography and case studies from Renaissance Italy; chair: Alison Brown (Royal Holloway, University of London)

Andrea Gamberini (Università di Milano/Christ Church, Oxford), “The clash of legitimacy: The state building process in late medieval Lombardy as seen in documentary practices”

Isabella Lazzarini (Università del Molise/All Souls, Oxford), “Public records, chancelleries, archives in late medieval Italy: themes and perspectives”


5.15 Andrea Guidi and Alessandro Silvestri (Birkbeck), Presentation of the team’s work so far and of individual projects; final discussion

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