The Scope of Our Work
The Medici family, Grand Dukes & Duchesses of Tuscany from 1537 to 1743, presided over the most brilliant court in Europe. Under their guidance, Florence became an international magnet for painters, sculptors, architects, musicians, scientists and writers. As inspired patrons, they served as the model for Popes, Kings and Emperors, setting the standard of courtly magnificence and patronage of the arts across the continent--from Rome and Naples to Paris, Madrid, London, Prague and Vienna.
The heritage of Medici patronage continues to give Florence its unique character. Scholars, artists, connoisseurs and international tourists still make the pilgrimage to Florence in order to admire the Uffizi Gallery, the Pitti Palace, the Boboli Gardens, Michelangelo's chapel and library at San Lorenzo and other monuments of Medici patronage.
The archive of the Medici Grand Dukes is one of the greatest yet least known Medici monuments. Established by Grand Duke Cosimo I in 1569, it offers the most complete record of any princely regime in Renaissance and Baroque Europe. Since this Archive consists mostly of letters (nearly three million filling a full kilometer of shelf-space), it offers an incomparable panorama of two-hundred years of human history, as told in the words of the people most immediately involved. However, this unique documentary resource has never been catalogued and indexed, nor microfilmed and accessed by electronic means. Only now, with The Medici Archive Project, is it fulfilling its potential to revolutionize our understanding of the past.
Documentary Sources for the Arts & Humanities
The Project is bringing the Medici Granducal Archive's unparalleled resources for the arts and humanities to a broad international public for the first time, by way of the latest information technology. Documentary Sources is now available as a searchable database on the Internet at documents.medici.org. Open to the general public for a limited time, and thereafter by subscription, the online system allows users to search for people, places, topics and document synopsis and extracts in the thousands of documents indexed by Project researchers, with new information added every month.