The history of the Archives reflects the secular affairs of the diocese and the oldest documents relating to the bishopric are stored in the form of loose-fit parchment in the  collection of the Canons of the Cathedral Chapter. Even the oldest register, from the mid-thirteenth century (drawn up by private notaries acting as the bishop’s clerks), is stored in the same archive. At the beginning of the 16th century, the archives gradually became the object of a separate organization (that of the diocesan curia), thus giving shape to authentic Episcopal Archives regarding the government of the diocese (i.e. pastoral visits, letters and synods). The body then branched out into various series relating to matters dealt with and the relevant offices.

During the episcopate of His Lordship Bishop Pier Luigi Speranza (1854-1879), most of the Chancellery documentation was reorganized into folders relating to the individual parishes,
containing specific files of material (the most common being appointments of parish priests, benefices, sacristies, etc.), and later a similar approach was used for the documentation concerning other religious bodies in the diocese.

In the meantime, he singled out a particular corpus, the “Mensa Vescovile” archives, an entity that managed the Bishop’s property and revenues throughout the region. A first step in this direction was the compilation of the “Rotulum Episcopatus Bergomi” (1258), which involved the recovery of scrolls front (up to 10th century), some of which are preserved in a Mensa parchment finding. Others – the majority – have been lost. Once the prerogatives of the Bishop’s assets were defined (property and perpetual census), the production began of a homogeneous background of registers and folders relating to the management of the patrimony, with documents from 14th to 19th century.

In the middle of 16th century the formation of an Ecclesiastical Court Archive seems to have developed, although the documentational reorganization undertaken ​​in the mid-19th century has not always kept distinct registers related to this entity. A very limited part of the documentation of this file on 16th to 18th centuries has come down to us.

Besides the already mentioned parchment background, the Archive of the Canons of the Cathedral Chapter (conserved in the Diocesan Historical Archive, but only for the part until the end of 18th century) is comprised of multiple series paper, the result of merging into a single body (mid-16th century) the two cathedral archives of St. Alessandro and St. Vincenzo. The marriage of these two archives presents us with a synthetic inventory.


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