Historical Archive of the Italian Economists

Regional research project on "Economists' manuscripts and archives in Emilia Romagna"

The Italian Economic Society (Società Italiana degli Economisti - SIE) took initiative some years ago in setting up an historical archive of economists. The main aim of this undertaking is to gather systematically information about manuscripts and documents of economists from the Fifteenth century until today. The adopted methodology is to select and describe the archives and to transmit information about the available records in the Italian territory, independently from the nationality of the economist to whom the archive belonged. A further aim of this project is to provide records and information useful to the analysis of connections among the schools of economic thought, and of the developments of both history of analysis and history of economic thought. Actually, this project makes reference to some topics already dealt by the scholars in scientific charge. In particular, P.L. Porta and R. Scazzieri presented two papers concerning these subjects. The first one is “Production, Wealth, and Structure of Human Actions: Paths of Classical Economic Theory from Tullio Martello to Gustavo Del Vecchio” at the 37th annual meeting of the Italian Economic Society (Bologna, 25th and 26th October 1996). The second one is “Competition and Civil Society: the contribute of Lombard Economists from Beccaria to Cattaneo” at the 35th annual meeting of the Italian Economic Society (Milano, 1994). Moreover, this project employs the results achieved by a commission of the SIE about similar international experiences and tested programmes of electronic archives’ management. The project of setting up electronic archives of economists is grounded on the opportunities provided by the development of electronic technique of recording and transmitting data. In particular, this project makes reference to the international standard of information’s classification by adopting a proper kind of record card. The adoption of these international criteria allows to carry out an electronic guide to the available archives, in order to allow the widest access to information, in accordance with the privacy law. The group has identified in Emilia-Romagna the following materials of interest for our search: manuscripts, letters, and other archival materials at the Accademia di Scienze, lettere ed arti in Modena, at the Biblioteca Panizzi in Reggio Emilia, at the library of the Department of Historical Studies, University of Bologna, at the Biblioteca Estense Universitaria in Modena, and at the Archivio di Stato in Modena.