School visits to the Archives

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History discovered at the source:

The State Archives are a precious reservoir of memory thanks to the documents which are preserved within its walls. For over twenty years in Prato, schools have been welcomed at Palazzo Datini to uncover the hidden treasures which make learning about history an exciting journey of discovery.

 

There are three different educational tours available, which are also able to be customised. They each present different types of documents which range from Medieval to Contemporary times.

 

1. The Datini Archive (XIV – XV century)

In the late Medieval period Prato was home to a protagonist of international reputation: the merchant Francesco Datini who left us not only small jewel of private architecture (Palazzo Datini), but also the largest mercantile archive for that time period (1370-1410). Discover what daily life was like at that time in Prato: try to read simple texts in their original script, an experience which offers much grafication. The history of so many centuries ago becomes fascinating.

A boy tries to write a pleasing letter to Francesco Datini 4th February 1398 (actually 1399)

A boy tries to write a pleasing letter to Francesco Datini 4th February 1398 (actually 1399)

Merchants notes on goods loaded onto a ship 10th June 1393

Merchants’ notes on goods loaded onto a ship 10th June 1393

An invitation addressed to Francesco and Margherita to attend a party in Florence 25th January 1388 (actually 1389)

An invitation addressed to Francesco and Margherita to attend a party in Florence 25th January 1388 (actually 1389)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Historic cartography (XVI – XVIII century)

Maps, prints and drawings: before google-maps existed the need to represent spaces in the interests of guaranteeing confines, to establish whose was responsible for maintaining the streets and ditches, and to decribe one’s property. Beginning with these observations and with modern technology, we can study the historic development of a street, a city neighbourhood, a piece of land in the countryside……a rich journey full of wonder and surprise.

 

 

A depiction of Palazzo Datini from towards the end of the eighteenth century

A depiction of Palazzo Datini from towards the end of the eighteenth century

The first page of the 'cabreo' of the Ceppi

The first page of the ‘cabreo’ of the Ceppi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Demographic sources (XX century)

Who was my grandfather? When did he marry my grandmother? Where did they live? What did they do for a living? Who used to live in my family’s house or neighbourhood?

 

Demographic sources are able to answer these questions. You can study the roots of your family or conduct a wider search on a group of families. We will help you to complete a family tree (using programs available online).

 

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Birth, deaths and marriages registry

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Each tree needs deep roots in order for its foliage to flourish …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We collaborate with the Prato regional administration Office of Culture, the Municipality of Prato, and with the Prato Public Library in organising the educational tours.

 

 

For information and bookings

Chiara Marcheschi

email:  as-po.salastudio@beniculturali.it

tel.:       (+39) 0574 26064