In the Archive, housed in the Braidense National Library in Milan, are preserved around 8.000 scores, more than 15.000 letters by musicians, librettists, singers and all manner of people connected to these arts, around 10.000 costume and set designs, more than 9.000 librettos, 6.000 historical photographs, and a large collection of Art Nouveau and Deco posters created by some of the main artists of the time.
Founded in 1808, it represents the historic legacy of the Ricordi publishing house, which was acquired in 1994 by the German media group Bertelsmann which, henceforth, ensures its conservation and cultural development.
The iconography section of the Archive offers important information not only related strictly to musical activity, but also to the pictorial, scenographic and decorative arts (such as the history of costume, the jewelry design, the stage props), to the publishing company (reconstructing the relationship between the publisher and various artists, whether they be musicians, poets or visual artists), and to the theatre world. The extraordinary importance of the Archive resides in the variety of documents it preserves, which offer a broad panoramic vision of the culture, industry and society over the course of two centuries of Italian history.
“Images © Archivio Storico Ricordi, Milan”
"It would be impossible to highlight all the contents we treat on this web-site, so please contact us directly for the further analysis and an introductory meeting. Please consider that it usually takes from six up to twelve months to organize an exhibition or an event. There are locations that require a reservation even two or three years in advance."