Archivio Longhi


Roberto Longhi.


Fondazione Roberto Longhi (Fondazione Roberto Longhi).




278 boxes

photograph typescript archive document negative slide


The archive is divided into 8 series and each series is generally subdivided into subseries. The series are: 1. Personal and Biographical documentation; 2. Correspondence; 3. Research; 4 Art Collection and Foundation of Studies in Art History; 5 Writings; 6 Teaching; 7. General Direction of Antiquities and Fine Arts; 8. Other activities. The third subseries of Series 3: Photo archive, is in the original order as it had been arranged by RL. Documents are grouped in folders within the boxes.

Scope and content

The archive consists of 278 boxes. 178 of them include paper documents (letters, postcards, drafts of writings, handwritten notes, typewritten texts) and more than 70,000 photographs (albumen and gelatine silver prints and diacolors). Documents are divided into 8 archival series: Series 1. Personal and Biographical includes 2 boxes of identification and affiliation cards, but it also includes the text of Longhi's dissertation on Caravaggio, and the telegrams which arrived after his death; Series 2. Correspondence (28 boxes) is alphabetically arranged; Series 3. Research includes both documents and photographs: documents, notebooks and notes are kept in 33 boxes; photographic materials are kept in 100 boxes. This section provides an extraordinary documentation on Italian Art, mostly between 13th and 18th centuries. A vast and important group of photographs is that regarding Caravaggio and his followers. The value of the collection is greatly enhanced by the fact that it is in the original order given by the art historian, which reflects Longhi's attributions. Series 5. Writings (16 boxes) includes drafts and versions of the various texts (essays, books, articles). It includes a little group of unpublished writings, in addition to a section dedicated to Longhi's collected works: The Opere complete published by Sansoni and Il Palazzo non finito. Series 6. Teaching (5 boxes) documents the activity of Longhi as a teacher, from his time at the secondary school in Rome, through the years spent at the Universities of Bologna and Florence. The material is arranged in chronological order. Series 7 and 8 (12 boxes) document various other activities Longhi was concerned with in the field of Art history : his work for the Italian Public Administration in commissions for the Antiquities and Fine Arts, restorations, the protection of the Italian artistic heritage; the curatorship of exhibitions, and also dissemination through radio and television.


People and organizations

Federico Zeri Bernard Berenson Carlo Gamba Pier Paolo Pasolini Attilio Bertolucci Giulio Carlo Argan Umberto Barbaro Francesco Arcangeli Giorgio Morandi Rodolfo Pallucchini Mino Maccari Gianfranco Contini

Artists, schools, periods

17th century Caravaggio Renaissance 15th century 14th century 16th century 20th century Vittore Carpaccio Caravaggisti Carlo CarrĂ  Cosimo Tura Piero della Francesca Giorgio Morandi

History of collection

The origins of archive should date back to the years of Longhi's university studies. The oldest documents, in fact, are linked to his contribution on Caravaggio and followers (his degree dissertation on the topic dates 1911). Longhi continued to order and use the materials he collected till the very late years of his life, even after his retirement.


gift. 1970.

Finding Aids

Printed finding aid available on site; online finding aid in process.


partially restricted (available by appointment)

archivists say

The collection is extremely relevant for researchers interested in Italian history of art and culture.

related nuclei and collections

Documents and letters by Longhi can be found in many Italian archives.