Exploring Alpine Archives

by Riccardo Rossi

From January to March 2019, I visited four archives in the Italian-speaking Alps. There, I had the opportunity to work on a variety of different sources: from account books related to annual fairs, to correspondences between local and distant merchants, and post-mortem inventories of mountain farmers. Working in the mountains does not just mean being surrounded by the staggering beauty of the landscape, eating delicious local treats and meeting nice people: there is as well – especially in winter – a lot of snow and closed roads, which sometimes force you to take alternative roads to get from one valley to another. Nevertheless, given the abundance as well as quality of the material in these archives and the commitment of the people who keep them going, I am looking forward to go back and continue the work I have begun this winter.

Each of these archives has its own story. But they have one thing in common: generous and dedicated people. So I want to take this opportunity to thank Vania Fasolo and the team of the Biblioteca Civica “Paolo e Paola Maria Arcari” in Tirano, Rosanna Nussio-Rada of the Centro di documentazione sulla storia della Val Poschiavo in Brusio, Andrea a Marca of the Fondazione Archivio a Marca in Mesocco, and Gloria Camesasca and the team of the Archivio di Stato di Sondrio.

Fondazione Archivio a Marca, Mesocco
Boardroom of the Casa Besta, Brusio
Piazza Campello with Palazzo Pretorio, Sondrio