Castiglioni Archive

In 2011, we wanted to donate our archives to the State Archive of Mantua, where the family library is currently in storage. The Castiglioni documents rank among the most prestigious aristocratic Mantuan archives and they contain documentation from the 14th to the 20th century, composed of nearly 2000 scrolls, more than 100 maps and drawings and over 250 folders.

The materials donated in 2011 were to be added to other collections that had been given to the State Archive of Mantua over the course of the 20th century. With the most recent acquisition from the Ministry of Culture in 2017, the Castiglioni archive finally found its ideal unity, representing a cultural enrichment for the city and a source of extraordinary interest the world of historical and literary research.

Among the most prestigious documents contained in the archive, those signed by Baldassare Castiglione, one of the greatest protagonists of the Italian and European Renaissance, stand out. Among these is a signed copy of “The Book of the Courtier”, the only one to be written entirely by hand by Baldassare, despite there being various manuscripts of the work in public libraries. The recent edition of the collection of letters edited by Professor Angelo Stella and presented at Festivaletteratura in September 2016, as well as the critical edition of “The Book of the Courtier” edited by Professor Amedeo Quondam allows to fully appreciate the importance of these papers which are conserved in Mantua.