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News and Announcements: Announcements & News

Notice of Reduction of Hours, Service at Archivio di Stato di Firenze

Friday, June 21, 2019   (0 Comments)
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The RSA wishes to make researchers aware of a reduction in both the hours of service and number of archival materials that may be requested at the Archivio di Stato di Firenze (Florentine National Archive).

A recent message shared on the Ficino Listserv describes the situation as follows:

Some of you have already heard about the rapidly escalating crisis at the Florentine National Archive (Archivio di Stato di Firenze), which is no longer viable for major research projects that require access to an extensive range of documentary materials. There has been remarkably little discussion of this alarming situation, even in Florence-so foreign researchers (in particular) should be warned of the current state of things here on the ground, before they finalize their summer plans.

In summary: The ASFi is now half-closed to the public (as of 10 June) and will remain so until further notice, due to extreme funding cuts in Rome and a long-standing policy of not filling staff positions as they fall vacant. As things currently stand, researchers at the ASFi can order only three items a day and keep a total of four in deposit (including those three just ordered). The Archivio is fully open only on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8:30 to 17:30, but items ordered after 10:30 am will not be available until the next day of full operation. On Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, the Reading Room of the Archivio is open from 8:30 to 13:30, but no new items can be ordered and only those already in deposit can be consulted.

In effect: Researchers can now access half as many documents as they could even a few months ago (which was already far too few for many kinds of projects). No one-including the current acting director-seems to know what the future holds. "La nostra speranza è che le decisioni che abbiamo assunto possano essere provvisorie». ("Our hope is that the decisions that we adopted will prove to be only provisional".) We all hope so too, but there is no cause for optimism, considering the Italian government's de facto policy of starving serious research by qualified historians.


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