The documentary heritage of Lucca: the digitization of the scrolls preserved in the State Archives and Historical Diocesan Archives

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Romiti Beatrice (La Sapienza University in Rome), Laura Giambastiani (Univ. Firenze); Tommaso Maria Rossi (Arch. St. Diocesano Lucca)
The archives of Lucca offer a very particular view of the history of Italian archival. With the four volumes published between 1872 and 1888, the “illustrated inventory” by Salvatore Bongi is the timely and accurate application of the historical-institutional method theorized by Francesco Bonaini during the nineteenth century.
Starting on the nineteenth century criteria, the tendency is to identify new and more analytical fields of application, closely connected with the phases of the reorganization and with the description ones, which may fall between inventories and guides. The acquisition of the criteria that were introduced at the time were later rielaborated and applied by other Archivists. They still represent a precious heritage that must not be forgotten but, rather, increased and enhanced. A reflection to these areas of operation could then produce positive effects in relation to the application of modern technologies to the cultural fields, and make them enable to extend their methods to archives and we could use the same means for facilitating the schemes present in diplomatic application to the digital age.
Into Lucca’s Archives are preserved some of the most important membranous collections and the oldest ones in the world. The diplomatic fund of the State Archives presents about 18.500 scrolls; 7.000 belong to the fourteenth century and the oldest one dates since 790. Diocesan cabinets preserve 15.000 scrolls, 1800 of them are corresponding to the beginning of years 1000 and 158 can be referred to the Lombard Age (the oldest one dates since 685). This is because this fund has been inserted into Memory of the World Register by UNESCO.
The great challenge of the contemporary age stays in making universally usable this extraordinary documentary richness, by modern methods for catalogs and digitization of documents basing on the example of other major Italian and European Archives, ensuring also the proper storage of the cards. We need fot this a new created integrate system able to collect together the great collection of Lucca’s scrolls. They have to be joined in only one multimedial database structured according to the last and most innovative international standards.
Nowadays it is a prior necessity for this databases they be configurated according to the actual key points of the various computer systems that require attention to the centrality of the data and the open source platform. It’s essential the recovery of all the data collected for integrating with the text encoding languages as the XML. It allows also the use of proprietary databases for indexing the summaries of the scrolls. This aspect is inevitably connected to the integration of information sources in order to showing the particular flexibility with an easy expansion ability and the creation of real “dictionaries” for the words and toponyms found in the documents.
The project, therefore, permits not only showing the archival membranaceous collections of the Institutes, but will focus on the choices made by the Lucca’s Historical Diocesan Archives for the preservation of this world heritage, not forgiving Lucca’s archival theory and following the actual international management and storage of information. Our aim is the individuation of a strategy sit to make ready to use this enormous heritage trough the realization of an integrated informatic system able to unify virtually this membranous collections.To this pourpose it should be constituted a team of archivists, paleographers, diplomatic experts and computer experts able to work together in the creation of the database online. All this would be a precious resource for all students and an innovative approach to the disciplines of diplomatic and archival.

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