Historical Archive

The Archive gives a complete picture of the competences taken by Opera throughout the centuries. The first centuries of activity are traceable only through secondary sources and the preserved documents date from the beginning of the sixteen century.
The role of the mediator between the Government laws and the requests of the friars and of the citizens has always distributed Opera’s commitment to different directions: small or big repair works on the building, restoration works, embellishment of the church and other parts and of the Friary, permission to add tombs, rooms usage authorization to religious groups and friars, information about the changes of the structure of Santa Croce during the last two centuries (the transformation into the Pantheon – a burial place of great people - and into the present shape).
As a memory of this uninterrupted activity, this Archive give us the chance to retrace the evolution of culture, art trends, artistic sensitivity, religious and civic participation that involved this Franciscan complex and to find in the papers the memory of artists, religious men, rich families and people who worked, lived here, or were just remembered.

The collection is organized into two categories:


I. Operating documents

This section houses about 800 texts which can be divided up in four Funds. The main Fund is the one preserving the documents which have been produced and collected by the Opera of Santa Croce from the beginning of the 1500s to the half of 1900s. It is subdivided into two periods that mark the Institutional history of the association and the two different methods with whom the documents have been organized. The most ancient text is a register (Quaderno di Comessione) with the names of Opera’s Debtors and Creditors from 1517 to 1530. Among the most important series are “Partiti e deliberazioni” and “Giustificazioni e negozi” of the Superintendent, the series relating to the accounting department and the nineteenth century collection of documents entitled “Affari”. The Archive preserves, other than the “Libri dei morti”, that is the cahiers where day by day the names of people buried in Santa Croce were recorded. A copy of the “Sepoltuari” (1439 and 1596) produced in the eighteen century is essential documentation for the arrangement of the church during the years when the texts were written and for dating of the tombs.

The other three Funds preserved in this archive belong to religious communities not linked to Santa Croce. They are the archives of the Franciscan Friaries in Fucecchio and Certomondo – both of them closed in 1863 – whose properties were given to Opera as an aid to maintain Santa Croce.

Opera di Santa Croce (1517-1949 ca.)

I periodo (1517-1832):

Giornaletti, Partiti e Deliberazioni
Carteggio, Giustificazioni e negozi
Giornali, Entrate e uscite
Debitori e creditori
Ricevute e conti spese
Processi
Libri dei morti
Varie
1541-1783
1525-1784
1543-1808
1517-1783
1613-1808
1640-1737
1552-1832
1575-1812

II periodo (1810 ca.-1950 ca.):

Verbali delle Adunanze e Deliberazioni
Carteggio: Incartamenti di Affari
Carteggio: Copia lettere
Amministrazioni diverse: Commissione per la Facciata
Entrate e uscite e Libri di Cassa
Debitori e creditori
Libri Mastri
Ricevute, Giustificazioni d’uscita, Conti dei manifattori,
Ruoli degli impiegati
Pigioni, livelli, censi e graduatorie
Bilanci, Stati attivi e passivi
Denunce per tasse
Libri matricola e libri paga operai
Inventari
Varie e miscellanee
Acquisti e doni
1810-1927
1810-1945
1857-1932
1857-1868
1815-1915
1824-1892
1892-1964

1815-1946
1670-1949
1814-1948
1845-1890
1911-1919
1810-1924
1808-1953
1836-1864
Convento S. Francesco di Fucecchio (1525-1808)
Libri dei Partiti, ordini e decreti
Entrate e uscite
Libri di grasce
Ricevute
Bestiami
Giornali del fattore
Libri del patrimonio
Livelli, censi e pigioni
Processi
Libri dei pasti
Libri degli obblighi
Libri delle messe
Varie
1594-1738
1525-1808
1689-1746
1653-1808
1718-1808
1765-1786
1605-1750
1676-1790
1609-1762
1604-1644
1647-1734
1664-1769
1621-1783
Convento S. Francesco di Certomondo (1438-1814)
Libri dei Partiti
Entrate e uscite
Debitori e creditori
Libri dei poderi
Processi
Varie
1685-1781
1593-1814
1583-1787
1760-1786
1539-1757
1438-1785
Monastero S. Girolamo detto Le Poverine di Firenze (1780-1891)
Affari diversi
Entrate e uscite
Libri e giornali di spese
Debitori e creditori, Libri Mastri
Ricevute
Giustificazioni di cassa
Amministrazione: varie
Pigionali
Patrimonio
Libri di campagna
Varie
1780-1836
1816-1863
1815-1849
1820-1863
1816-1836
1853-1863
1832-1863
1816-1846
1741-1859
1817-1819
1798-1891

II. Drawings and plans

Integral part of the Historical Archive are the drawings and the plans produced as the apparatus of a wide range of of projects that this institution dealt with, during its activity. There are about 250 drawings which date back to the 1800s and 1900s, except for the few exemplars referred to the previous centuries. Plans, sketches and water-color maps testify the constant activity of maintenance and restoration of the church and friary and sometimes give us the description of locations which are no longer existent. As precious and rich of information are the nineteenth century drawings of projects for new elements or complete architectonic and ornamental parts, fruit of the important new set up and restoration works carried out during that century and not always achieved. Moreover, there are numerous sketches and drawings of tombs and memorials that increased in the course of the 1800s because of the transformation of this church into a Pantheon dedicated to illustrious Italians: some of them, thought and planned for renowned personalities or private citizens, are signed by great committed and esteemed sculptors.

The Historical Archive is the heart of a larger patrimony constituted of documents produced and collected through the centuries by this institution that still today accomplishes its original purpose. In fact, this patrimony has continued and continues to grow rich thanks to continuous repair and restoration works and to an intense activity in the last years to increase the value of religious, artistic and civic aspects that typified both past and present times of Santa Croce Franciscan complex.