The consultation of Archival Documents is regulated by the articles 122-127 of Legislative Decree 42/2004, “Code of Cultural Heritage and Landscape”.
The documents preserved in the State Archives can be freely consulted, except for:
- documents relating to the inner and foreign State Politics, declared confidential by the Ministry of the Interior in agreement with the Ministry of Culture, which can be consulted 50 years after their date;
- documents containing sensitive personal data (i.e. “suitable to reveal racial and ethnic origin, religious, philosophical or other beliefs, political opinions, adherence to Parties, Unions, associations or organizations of a religious, philosophical, political nature”), which become available for consultation 40 years after their date;
- documents containing personal data, so-called very sensitive (i.e. “suitable to reveal the state of health, sexual life or family-type confidential relationships”), which become accessible 70 years after their date;
- documents containing judicial data (i.e. “personal data that can disclose the provisions referred to in article 3, paragraph 1, letters from a) to o) and from r) to u), of D.P.R. November 14, 2002, n. 313, in the matter of criminal records, of the registry of administrative sanctions depending on the crime and of the related pending charges, or the status of defendant or suspect pursuant to articles 60 and 61 of the criminal procedure code “), which become accessible for 40 years after their date.
The Ministry of the Internal Affairs may authorize the consultation for historical purposes of documents of a confidential nature kept in the State archives even before the terms indicated above. The authorization request must be presented to the Archive where the research is to be carried out; the Director of the Institute will forward it, with his opinion, to the Inspectorate for Archival Services of the Ministry of Internal Affairs to be approved (Article 123 of the Code of Cultural Heritage).
Archivists and Historians, in the processing of personal data, must observe the Code of ethics and good conduct for the processing of personal data for historical purposes (attached to the Legislative Decree of 30 June 2003, n. 196, relating to protection of personal data).