Historical Archive

The history of the Viareggio Carnival is collected not only in the dedicated museums that we find in the Citadel but also in the Historical Archive, a unique place where precious documents – the direct witnesses to tradition – are preserved and kept. Thanks to these documents it is possible to reconstruct and relive the history of the Carnival and Viareggio.

What can be found in the Archive?

The collection of documents combines the materials already owned by the Carnival Foundation with the Archival Fund “Viareggio Carnival 1847-2008” of the Francesco Bergamini Historical Documentation Center, which the Municipal Administration has entrusted on loan to the Foundation, to create a single place to tell 150 years of history and more.

  • For scholars and enthusiasts, it is therefore possible to see different types of documents, such as:
  • Regulations and invitations to Carnival Balls and parties in the late nineteenth century that took place in the city theater;
  • Press reviews of the event dating back to the early twentieth century;
  • Correspondence that helps reconstruct various historical news;
  • Minutes of the administration councils of the Carnival Committees that recount all the ideas, inventions and vicissitudes that the Carnival has experienced;
  • The complete collection of Carnival magazines, “Viareggio in Maschera”, founded in 1921 by Giuseppe Giannini and still in print today;
  • Over 3000 original sketches, from 1948 to today, preserved with special materials.
The Archive's organization

The set up of the exhibition space located in the Carnival Citadel, in an area of 250 square meters, was designed to be functional for both preservation and public use.

The entire historical and archival heritage is at the center of the digitization, inventory, and cataloging project. To make it understandable at various levels, from schoolchildren to enthusiasts, from university students to scholars, a specific database has been created for all materials: photographs, documentaries, original films, and audio. For each element, a complete record was created with all the historical, archival, and content references.

The digital structure allows multiple search levels: from a simple search to an advanced search by category of material, author, year, theme, and chronology.

Particular attention has been paid to the graphics and simplicity of the search to allow even non-expert users to take advantage of it and navigate through this huge mass of data.

How to visit the Historical Archive?

The Historical Archive can only be visited accompanied, and by reservation. For information and to schedule a visit, contact the following email address: fondazione@ilcarnevale.com or the Foundation at the phone number: +39 0584 5807