Collection a1134 - Manuscripts from the WW1 period preserved by the Italian libraries

Identity area

Reference code

IT a1134


Manuscripts from the WW1 period preserved by the Italian libraries


  • 1914 - 1918 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

Digital copies of aprox. 12.400 manuscripts, documents, diaries, letters and correspondence

Context area

Name of creator

Istituto Centrale per il Catalogo Unico

Biographical history

The Central Institute for the Union Catalogue of Italian Libraries and Bibliographic Information took on the current denomination in 1975 following the constitution of The Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities, formerly the Ministry for Cultural and Environmental Heritage. The National Centre for the Union Catalogue was created in 1951 with the task of cataloguing the entire national bibliographic heritage.
This objective is pursued due to a considerable collaboration strategy among Italian libraries even coming under varied administrations. This ensures the development of services on the same level throughout the entire nation. Resulting from this collaboration is the establishment of the National Library Service. This national on-line service network, to which the state, local institutions, and university libraries is connected, contribute to the founding of the national collective on-line catalogue which is managed by the Institute.
The Institute, whose reference point is the General Direction for Library Heritage, Cultural Institutes and Copyright, carries out coordination functions with due respect to library autonomy in the field of National Library Service as well as cataloguing projects accomplished through the use of new information technology. ICCU acts as coordinator of the National Library Service (SBN) and of the digitalization projects produced by using metadata standards and related to the project Italian Digital Library (BDI).

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Content and structure area

Scope and content

This Digital Collection gathers aprox. 12.400 manuscript materials from the WW1 period preserved by some of the Italian libraries. Among them are the documents coming from the Italian War Ministry. These contain civil status documents with several photographs, press clippings and attachments relating to the soldiers died in the War. This Collection contains also some letters, correspondence and diaries, such as the war diaries by army lieutenants, diaries about the agony days of the Austrian occupation (1917-1918) and those written by Italian prisoners, personal narratives written by people who relate a given aspect of the war such as the testimony of such participants as nurses and chaplains. Finally, the Collection includes also some letters and correspondences.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Freely available online

Conditions governing reproduction

Language of material

  • Italian

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

14-18 Documenti e immagini della Grande Guerra

Europeana Collections 1914-1918

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

The Central Institute for the Union Catalogue of Italian Libraries (ICCU) coordinates the Italian WW1 collections owned by Biblioteca Universitaria Alessandrina, Biblioteca di Storia Moderna a Contemporanea, and Istituto per la Storia del Risorgimento Italiano through the official website 14-18: Documenti e immagini della Grande Guerra.

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

This Collection gathers two sub-collections:
"Diaries and letters from the First World War period "
"Manuscript documents of the Italian War Ministry from the WW1 period"

Related descriptions

Notes area


The materials have been digitized within the context of the Europeana Collections 1914-1918

Alternative identifier(s)

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Description control area

Description identifier

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Rules and/or conventions used



Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion



  • English



Digital object metadata

Digital object (External URI) rights area

Accession area