The Archive and its collection
The State Archive of Montevergine is divided into the Historical Archive and the Diocesan one. The first is located on the second floor of the Library while the other one, with original frescos and olive brier-root shelves, is on the first floor of the Abbey. The Virginians are always interested in the ordering of their documents which get a better arrangement in the second half of the 18th century. In 1807 a lot of religious orders were deprived of their legal existence, their possessions confiscated (few congregations were tolerated in order to the care of the sick and to the instruction of poor children in the Kingdom of Italy). Their documents were moved into the Archives of Montevergine which, since 1818, has been depending on the Great Archives of Naples. It preserves about 7000 sheepskins; the oldest one is dated 947 and the latter 1952. The most ichnographical and paleographical parchment is Lo Statuto dell’abate Donato dated 1250 with drawings in ink. In the middle there is the Redeemer, at the left Donato abbot, at the top the Virgin Mary between two angels. More than 1000 folders contain about 100.000 loose papers related to the Virginian history, to its churches all over Southern Italy, and to the civil, economical and social history of the countries under the jurisdiction of Montevergine. Besides there are: papal bulls, pontifical privileges, statutes, gifts, royal letters, concessions, states of souls, registers and lists of births, marriages and deaths, diplomas, certificates, and the so-called platee painted with watercolours about properties and lands of the Virginian Congregation. Other documents have not been arranged yet, such as the Monte di Pietà (Pawnshop) in Avellino, annexed to the Confraternity of Saint Mary of Costantinopoli, and the autographed guestbook.
Both sheepskins and papers can be consulted through:
Regesto delle pergamene by Giovanni Mongelli, a sheepskins’ summary into 7 volumes;
Codice diplomatico verginiano by Mario Placido Tropeano, into 13 volumes about the transcription of the first 1300 parchments. It is a work in progress;
L’Achivio storico dell’abbazia Benedettina di Montevergine: inventari by Giovanni Mongelli into 3 volumes, and the Indice dei nomi e delle cose notevoli.