Access to the College Green area of campus will be restricted until further notice. PennCard holders and some Penn affiliates may enter and exit Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center through the Rosengarten Undergraduate Study Center on the ground floor, and may enter and exit the Fisher Fine Arts Library through the 34th Street entrance to Meyerson Hall. See our Service Alerts for details.

This wide array of manuscript material may be of interest to researchers in many disciplines, including Italian Renaissance studies and business, economic, social, and cultural history.

Among the wide variety of subjects that these materials cover are the following:

  • Civil and canon law
  • Property law, inheritance, and succession
  • The Papacy
  • Merchant culture, commerce, and business practices
  • Agriculture, food production, and consumption
  • Material culture; written culture; correspondence and letter-writing
  • Accounting and banking
  • Family history and networks
  • Spanish-Italian relations

The cities and regions of Italy that are covered by these collections include:

  • Arezzo; Genoa; Florence; Naples; Sicily; and Siena
  • Some materials related to Spanish families who migrated to Italy.

Languages include: Italian, Latin, Spanish, and French.

Accordion List

Brief descriptions of the collections and links to catalog records and finding aids are below. For organizational purposes, collections are listed in order by oldest dated document, but note that the chronological scope of many of these collections is very broad:

The majority of these collections were acquired by the Penn Libraries in the 1960s and early 1970s, through purchase from a number of different dealers. When acquired, many of these manuscript groups were added to the Henry Charles Lea Library and given Lea manuscript numbers: however, they postdate the collection formed by Lea himself by half a century. The Aitala family papers were a gift of Tina Aitala (2008).

Pietro Parenzi notarial document, 1239.
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Pietro Parenzi notarial document, 1239: Piccolomini Family Papers, Ms. Coll. 742, folder 2 (detail)

Letter written to Diego Naselli of Naples.
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Letter written by an unidentified sender to Diego Naselli of Naples, pertaining to the guardianship and inheritance of Princess Marianna Grifeo di Partanna, daughter of Prince Leopoldo Grifeo di Partanna, Naples 1826-7, Naselli Family papers (Ms. Coll. 788, folder 106, 2r, detail)

Concini family tree.
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Concini genealogical document, 17th century: Concini Family Papers, Ms. Coll. 752, folder 27, 1r