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Archivio Storico Ricordi

The Ricordi Historical Archive, nowadays hosted at the Braidense Library, is one of the most important private musical archives in Italy.
Its history goes back in 1808, when it was founded by Giovanni Ricordi, who starts collecting and filing every document related to his work, such as original manuscripts, libretti, sketches, letters, photographs, posters. In nearly two centuries of activity, the archives have never stopped improving, giving life to an awesome heritage representing most of the italian history of music and theatre.
The extraordinary value of this archive comes from the wideness of the historical background that its documents cover, providing an overlook about the italian culture and industrialisation level in one of the most important historical moments for our nation.

At the moment, the archives embrace 3,593 scores aged from the eighteenth to the first part of the twentieth century (of these, 2,246 are autograph) about 15,000 letters of musicians and librettists, more than 10,000 sketches and fashion sketches, more than 90,00 libretti, 4,000 old photographs and several Art Nouveau posters by relevant graphic designers. In the Ricordi Historical Archives are filed the authentic manuscripts of 23 out of 28 operas written by Verdi, the ones of all Puccini's operas (except for "Rondine") and many more by Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti, Paganini and Liszt, as well as from contemporary authors like Respighi, Malipiero, Casella, Pizzetti, Nono, Maderna and Donatoni.

Reference work service is allowed only with a pre-arranged appointment. It is necessary to send a prior request about the topic, the period and the aim of the reference work by email.
The reference work must be previously authorized by Ricordi and visitors must declare to accept the rules and its conditions.
  Archivio Storico Ricordi
  c/o Biblioteca Nazionale Braidense
  via Brera, 28
  20121 MILANO
  email: archivio@archivioricordi.com
    ph: 0272001168
web: www.archivioricordi.com