The Braidense holds many autographs and archive collections of various importance and origin, which are precious sources of information for the political and cultural history of the past centuries.
The impressive collection (more than 30.000 items) was formed from 1829 on, when the milanese physicist and philologist Giovanni Gherardini (1778-1861) gave to the Library the manuscripts of the statistics scholar Melchiorre Gioia (1767-1829).
The collection was incremented in 1880 with the donation of the autographs of the charity Album created by the priest and patriot Carlo Cameroni (1793-1862), who also was vice-president of the Central Committee for the Aid to the Italian Emigrates (Comitato centrale pe' soccorsi agli emigrati italiani). This was a valuable collection created in November 1856 with the intention to use the revenue of its sale to help materially and morally the Italian emigrates in Piemonte.
In 1889 it was also enriched with the acquisition of some correspondence that were part of the Morbio collection, among which the letters of Saint Carlo Borromeo (1538-1584), of Ludovico Antonio Muratori (1672-1750), of Giuseppe Baretti (1719-1789), of Giuseppe Compagnoni (1754-1833), of Pompeo Litta (1781-1852) and in 1895 with the acquisition of the papers of Francesco Cherubini (1789-1851), author of the renowned Milanese-Italian vocabulary, and after those the papers of the Accademia Fisio-medico-statistica of Milan which was dismissed in 1896, and of the Italian Bibliografical Society.
Among the 20th Century's acquisitions the correspondence of Francesco Novati (1859-1915), which counts about 13,000 letters and entered the Library in 1916, the correspondence of Augusto Guido Bianchi (1868-1951), circa 500 letters among which 96 written by Giovanni Pascoli (1855-1912), in Braidense since 1950.
The papers of Francesco Hayez (1791-1881), purchased in 1984.
Among the most recent acquisitions the archives of Leopoldo Cicognara (1767-1834), art historian, with a corrispondence of about 1,000 letters, donated from the Ministry of Cultural Assets and Activities in 1991, and the one of Luigi Bodio (1840-1920), statistics scholar and senator, with a correspondance of about 11,000 letters, donated in 1992 by Mrs. Ceresa Cernezzi, daughter-in-law of Luigi Cernezzi, Luigi Bodio's son-in-law.