THE ILARDI MICROFILM COLLECTION OF RENAISSANCE DIPLOMATIC DOCUMENTS
ca. 1450 -- ca. 1500

A Reel Guide to 1856 reels

Compiled by VINCENT ILARDI, Professor of History, University of Massachusetts, Amherst and Visiting Professor (1993-96), History Department, Yale University

MICROFORM ROOM
STERLING MEMORIAL LIBRARY
YALE UNIVERSITY

*April 1994 ( 3rd version)


NOTE

The following microfilm reel Guide represents the second revision since its first compilation in 1985. Some fifty reels have been added and each reel has been assigned a sequential number. The entire collection now consists of 1856 reels and 179 photocopies, reproducing approximately two million documents. The microfilms, which were at first deposited temporarily in the Library of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, were donated in March 1990 to the Sterling Memorial Library of Yale University and transferred in July. The collection has been catalogued with the title The Ilardi Microfilm Collection of Renaissance Diplomatic Documents ca. 1450 -- ca. 1500. The entire Guide is available on the Internet to facilitate borrowing through national and international interlibrary loans.

Begun in 1959, the collection now includes most if not all significant unpublished collections of diplomatic documents and related papers for the second half of the fifteenth century held in western European archives and libraries. Series of documents containing instructions, dispatches, credentials, ambassadorial powers and passports, treaties, letters of rulers, ciphers, and other pertinent records such as foreign policy memoranda and debates, ambassadorial expense accounts and travel diaries have been filmed in their entirety. An ample selection of other records, such as state internal correspondence and unpublished chronicles with relevance to diplomatic affairs, has also been included. In the relatively few cases where a selection had to be made, readers are so notified by means of an asterisk or by other appropriate means. Manuscript inventories have also been filmed whenever possible with the special permission of the archivists.

Scholars in the United States and abroad have used the collection for various studies not only in diplomacy, statecraft, and military affairs, but also in such diverse fields as literature, biography, musicology, economic and social history, religion, art history, optics, and even animal husbandry! Such is the richness of information included in diplomatic and state correspondence of the age. This comprehensive and diversified feature makes the collection unique in the world for the period. Assembled in one place, these records from numerous European repositories facilitate research and provide a wide variety of samples from a great number of chanceries for the training of graduate students in the techniques of paleography and archival research.

In using the collection researchers are urged to keep in mind the normal limitations inherent in the process of assembling vast quantities of microfilms from different countries. The filming was done over three decades by a great number of state and private photographers operating with varying skills under different conditions without a uniform standard. Although care was taken to be as complete and accurate as possible, some documents may have been omitted from a particular file or series through error. Generally the dates have been given in the modern style, but the accuracy of all the dates could not be checked. Often a file contains undated or inaccurately dated documents. The extreme dates of the collection, 1450 - 1500, have sometime been transgressed in cases where files contained a few documents beyond these limits or for other compelling reasons. Normally the addresses of dispatches/letters have not been photographed unless they refer to persons other than the rulers or if the verso of the folio contains other writing or notations. Since dispatches were nearly always directed to rulers, and often consisted of only one page, the omission of these addresses has allowed additional filming with the saved funds.

The preceding paragraph should serve as a reminder that microfilms are an aid to research and are not intended to substitute for direct study of archival records in situ. Experienced reseachers know the value of personal visits in archives and treat microfilm collections as convenient tools to become familiar with the sources and use their time abroad more efficiently. This is, indeed, an enormous advantage for researchers worldwide for which all of us are grateful to the great number of archivists, librarians, and photographers who have collaborated in creating the collection -- a long list, which will appear in a later publication. Equally crucial for the initiation and success of the project was the financial support generously extended by the following foundations and agencies: Fulbright Program for Italy (1959-60); American Philosophical Society (1960-63); Rockefeller Foundation Research and International Research Programs (two grants, 1961-63, 1963-64), John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation (1970-71), National Endowment for the Humanities- Research Resources Division (three grants, 1976-85), and the National Italian American Foundation (1985).

The present Guide introduces researchers to an important collection containing most of the needed documentation for a fuller assessment of that fateful half century ending with the debacle of 1494-95, which changed the history of Europe forever. The Guide appears as an appendix to the volume The French Descent into Renaissance Italy, 1494-5: Antecedents and Effects, ed. David Abulafia (Aldershot, Hampshire, Great Britain; Brookfield, VT: Variorum, 1995). It will be republished with appropriate scholarly apparatus and extensive descriptions of archival collections as part of my forthcoming book on the development of the permanent resident embassy, tentatively titled "Renaissance Origins of Modern Diplomacy: Institutions, Archives, Microfilms."

I am grateful to Prof. David Abulafia for including the Guide in the volume he edited. I also wish to thank Dr. Susanne F. Roberts, Humanities Bibliographer at Sterling Memorial Library, and her assistant, Ms. Shalane Hansen for their dedicated assistance in the preparation of this revision of the reel guide and its electronic edition.

Vincent Ilardi
New Haven, Connecticut
April 1994

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YALE UNIVERSITY LIBRARY
INTERLIBRARY LOAN POLICIES

Address:
Interlibrary Loan - Lending
Yale University Library
P.O. Box 208240
New Haven, CT 06520-8240
(203-432-1789)
Form of requests

Requests for loan cannot be taken over the telephone. The Library requires a written request, submitted either through RLIN (our LI is CTYG), OCLC (our symbol is YUS, enter it twice), or typed on an ALA or IFLA form. Requests can also be submitted via Ariel (130.132.80.19) and by fax (203-432-7231).

Citation in requests

Requests must cite the Ilardi Collection, the Archive and series' names, and the document and reel numbers. (e.g., Ilardi Collection: Genoa, Archivio di Stato, Antico Comune, Politicorum, B.1648 (1451-81), Reel 257.)

Fees
A $20.00 fee is charged for each completed transaction. Postage for sending the material by Air is added to this fee if the loan is shipped abroad. A transaction is defined as a filled request for four reels of microfilm being supplied. Invoices for payment will usually be received before the material itself and act as notification of the fulfillment of the request. Not more than four reels of microfilm may be sent for one reader in any library at one time.
Loan period
Films are usually loaned for two weeks' use with no renewals. Exceptions will be considered if an unusual situation exists in the borrowing library, but a specific request must be made, and no automatic extension of the loan period should be assumed.
Conditions of use

Material may be loaned for use in the library only and/or with restriction on photocopying.

Copying

Permission to duplicate a few frames with microfilm-reader-printers is hereby granted. To facilitate research, the Italian government has generously authorized Sterling Memorial Library in exceptional circumstances to duplicate at its discretion one or two reels of the Italian holdings. Non-Italian films cannot be duplicated without written permission from the repositories. In all cases it is preferable for researchers to deal directly with the repositories for any duplication beyond the capabilities of microfilm-reader-printers.

For more information concerning Interlibrary Loan policies at Yale, please see the ILL lending page.

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CONTENTS OF THE REEL GUIDE

REPOSITORIES IN ITALY

BOLOGNA
Biblioteca Comunale dell'Archiginnasio
FERRARA
Archivio di Statto
Biblioteca Comunale Ariostea
FLORENCE
Archivio di Stato
Archivio della Famiglia Guicciardini
Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale
FORLI'
Biblioteca Comunale
GENOA
Archivio di Stato
ISOLA BELLA
Archivio Borromeo
MANTUA
Archivio di Stato
MILAN
Archivio di Stato
Biblioteca Ambrosiana
Biblioteca Nazionale Braidense
Biblioteca della Societa' Storica Lombarda
Biblioteca Trivulziana
MODENA
Archivio di Stato
PAVIA
Biblioteca Civica "Bonetta"
ROME
Archivio di Stato
SIENA
Archivio di Stato
TURIN
Archivio di Stato
VATICAN CITY
Archivio Segreto Vaticano
VENICE
Archivio di Stato
Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana
Biblioteca Querini Stampalia
VEROLI
Biblioteca Giovardiana

REPOSITORIES OUTSIDE ITALY

AUSTRIA
VIENNA
Haus-, Hof- und Staatsarchivs
Österreichische Nationalbibliothek
ENGLAND
LONDON
British Library
FRANCE
DIJON
Archives Départementales de la Cote-D'or
LILLE
Archives Départementales du Nord
MARSEILLES
Archives Départ. des Bouches-Du-Rhone
PARIS
Archives Nationales
Bibliothèque Nationale
SPAIN
BARCELONA
Archivo General de la Corona de Aragon
SEVILLE
Archivo General de Indias
SIMANCAS
Archivo General
TURKEY
ISTANBUL
Top Kapi Sarayi Arsivi
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
CHICAGO
University of Chicago, Joseph Regenstein Library
YUGOSLAVIA
DUBROVNIK (RAGUSA),
Historijski Arhiv
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Digitized Images of Selected Documents

The images available here were selected from materials in the Ilardi Collection, photographs of which were displayed in the exhibit Fifteenth-Century Diplomatic Documents (University of Massachusetts, Amherst, October 20-21, 1972). Falling into six general categories, these items have been chosen to illustrate the rich variety of information contained in Renaissance diplomatic series. Individual documents often have little or nothing to do with affairs of state, for example, a description of an earthquake in Naples (II) and a humanist application for a "research grant" to the "Sforza Foundation" (VI).

I. Instructions

MILAN, ARCHIVIO DI STATO
P.E., Francia, cart. 539
Instructions of Galeazzo Maria Sforza, Duke of Milan, to Sforza de' Bettini, Milanese ambassador to Louis XI, King of France. Pavia, June 18, 1472. Original.

II. Dispatches

MILAN, ARCHIVIO DI STATO
Frammenti Reg. Ducali-Missive, cart. 5, foll. 529v-531r
Dispatch of Bindo Bindi, Sienese ambassador in Naples, to the Concistoro of Siena describing an earthquake in Naples on December 4, 1456. Naples, December 7, 1456. Copy.

III. Letters of Princes

FLORENCE, ARCHIVIO DI STATO
Riformagioni-Atti Publici, Roma, N. CLIII
Bull of Pope Sixtus IV to the Signoria of Florence. Rome, July 16, 1473. Original.

IV. Treaties

TURIN, ARCHIVIO DI STATO
Materie Politiche, Traités anciens avec la France, Mazzo 9, N. 11
Treaty of alliance between Louis, Dauphin of France, and Louis I, Duke of Savoy. Chambery, March 13, 1451. Original.

V. Ciphers

PARIS, BIBLIOTHEQUE NATIONALE
Fonds Italien, Cod. 1595, foll. 441r-442r
"Regule ad extrahendum litteras ziferatas, sine exemplo," attributed to Cicco Simonetta, First Secretary of Galeazzo Maria Sforza, Duke of Milan. Pavia, July 4, 1474. Original.
VIENNA, NATIONALBIBLIOTHEK
Cod. Vindob. 2398. Franciscus Tranchedinus, Furtivae litterarum notae
This codex contains some two hundred ciphers used by the Milanese Chancery between 1450 and 1496. Ciphers shown date from ca.1450. Original .

VI. Varia

MILAN, ARCHIVIO DI STATO
P.E., Roma, cart. 54
Letter of Flavio Biondo to Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan, requesting a monetary subsidy for the completion of the fourth decade of his Historiarum ab inclinatione Romanorum imperii, in which he plans to treat Sforza's conquest of Milan and later events. Rome, January 28, 1463. Original.

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Please send questions and comments to Susanne Roberts.

Last Revision February 6, 2003