The First Director: Guido Pamapaloni


Guido Pampaloni (b. 1914, Certaldo  -  d. 1992, Bagno a Ripoli), after receiving a Bachelors degree in Political Science in 1937, at only 23 he entered into the Administration of the Archives, formerly part of the Ministry of the Interior.


He was immediately dispatched to Florence, and between 1957 and 1958 he dealt with the establishment of the Prato State Archives, becoming its first director.  He followed in the footsteps of his mentor the prolific Italian scholar, Niccolò Rodolico the then Director of the Historical Archives Journal. His expansive research output had as its main point of interest the history of the Archives and of their organisation, the history of Florence and Prato in particular, ranging from Dante’s time to the unification of Italy, dotted with agricultural history. He also collaborated with Bemporad and Prunai, on various volumes dedicated to the history of Tuscan palazzi, such as Palazzo Tolomei in Siena, Palazzo Strozzi and Palazzo Portinari-Salviati in Florence.



In 1969 he was appointed Director of the Florence State Archives, but he did not cut his ties with Prato. In 1967 at the foundation of the F. Datini International Institute for Economic History chaired by Ferdinand Braudel, he had become its first director.

Depositi dell'Archivio di Stato di Prato (1960)

In 1982 he inspired the foundation of the Institute of Historical Postal Studies. His seminars on “Merchant Paleography” trained a generation of young scholars to be able to navigate the documentation of late medieval Tuscan merchants, with tutorials on the papers of Francesco di Marco Datini. In 1984, along with Braudel, Manselli and Tenenti, he was part of the Scientific Committee which gave impetus to the great undertaking of the “History of Prato.”



Having obtained a lectureship in Medieval History in 1973, he left the direction of the Florence State Archives in order to dedicate himself entirely to the study and the teaching of Medieval History then in Diplomacy and Paleography, a position he held until 1984.




Guido Pampaloni, as Director of the then Section of the Archives of State of Prato, immediately put his hand to the drawing up of an “inventory guidebook” that would allow the precious documentary sources, that had been slowly collecting in Palazzo Datini, to be used. In synergy with Niccolò Rodolico, then Chairman of Tuscany’s National History Delegation, the volume exited the following year, and for many years it has formed the basis for any further digging in the archival material deposited in Palazzo Datini.