The records of all the activities developed to date by the Opificio delle Pietre Dure are collected in three different archives, located in central Florence:
- the Historical Archive which contains all the documentation on the history of the Opificio till the 70’s
- the Conservation Archive related to the conservation/restoration works since 1975
- the Scientific Data Archive, founded in 1977 by its former Director Mauro Matteini
The language used in all these three archives is Italian.
The records held by the archives refer to a wide range of objects related to the Conservation Departments activities: stone and wood sculpture, bronzes, tapestries and textiles, ceramics, wax and glass, paper, movable paintings, wall paintings, jewellery, mosaics, mainly from Middle Ages to present times.
Access is offered to:
- conservation reports
- primary images
- analytical data
- sample collection
mostly relating to the conservation works performed by the OPD.
The Historical Archive: records held in the Historical Archive refer to the Opificio delle Pietre Dure activity from 1789 to 1970 and follow the transformation of the Institute from a workshop belonging to the Granduke (1789-1860) to the new set-up at the beginning of 20th century when, beside the production of “commesso” objects, restoration activity started to be undertaken.
The Conservation Archive: 12.600 records associated with OPD conservation works since 1975 are held in this archive. It includes different format images and records, only partially digitized.
Beside normal photos, special recording technique images are included, as micro- and macro-images, raking light photos, UV photos, X-radiographs, etc.
Images are provided to the user in analogue or digital form and their use is subjected to the current national laws (Ronchey law).
The Scientific Archive: the scientific archive collects the diagnostic results related to the restoration works performed by the Opificio from 1977 to nowadays (S files) and to other research projects.
Records include an introductory part in which the identifying data of the artwork, the aim of the investigation and the analytical techniques used, are reported. In the following part, for every collected sample, a photographic documentation (sampling site and sample) and the analytical results are shown. The oldest files contain essentially analysis by optical microscope on cross sections. Later reports also contain results of AAS, FTIR, µFTIR, SEM/EDS, XRF and CI analyses. The techniques used vary according to the investigation needs.
At the moment more than 2000 records are stored in the archive. Most of the oldest part of the data and images in records are only in analog form, the most recent are in digital form.
Since 2002 the photographic documentation has been collected directly in digital form. Since the end of 2004 the diagnostic activity reports for each artwork is stored only in digital form. However, the whole archive is currently being digitalized.
A wide collection of about 9000 cross- sections coming from different artworks is also available under request.
The use of unpublished data of the Scientific Archive is subjected to an agreement with the referent of the archive.
Name: Monica Galeotti