Cariplo traditional archives - Intesa Sanpaolo Bank
At its inception Cassa di Risparmio was not originally established as a bank with an ordinary corporate structure, but as an instrument of a charitable organisation; a proper by-laws did not appear until 1861. The charitable institution set up the original archives according to its needs and following a general practice used by administrative bodies in the civil service.One of the consequences has been that in the first decades of activity all minutes of the Welfare Central Commission (CCB, Commissione Centrale di Beneficenza) and of the executive committee were not collected in an homogeneous and dedicated series, but were kept together with other files in the series called ‘Regulations’ and ‘General Provisions’.
Since the very beginning, by way of public posters, a wide broadcast was given to the end-of-semester figures of savings received, and very soon loans and other investments were added. More complete accounting information was prepared from 1857 and since 1880 the data were enriched with a detailed report and comments prepared by the chairman of the CCB. A distinctive feature of Cassa di Risparmio is the visible care taken in the presentation to the general public of its business statistics, finely described. Also the internal manuals, the circular letters, the rules and the business handouts of Cassa may be considered true incunabula of such technical and organizational literature. From 1880 the minutes of the Executive Committee meetings were filed in chronological order and from 1887 the original minutes of the CCB were bound in volumes together with their attachments. From 1897 the registers of such minutes were duly stamped and kept according to the statutory requirements of the law. Since the first traces about the existence of a ‘Secretariat, Records and Archive Department’, in 1855, there is a mention about certain difficulties in dealing with multiple registrations. In an internal instruction of 1878 there is the first description of the duties tasked to the ‘Mail Registration & Shipment and Archive Department’. The incoming documents were registered separately for each activity managed by CCB (Charity Fund, Cash, Real Estate Finance, Silk Warehouse).
Cassa di Risparmio
real estate finance
Regulations and General Provisions
Members of CCB
Debentures & Prints
Taxes & Other Dues
Contributions to Municipalities and No-Profit Entities
Mortgage Loans to Persons
Mortgage Loans to Entities
Mortgage Loans to Persons
Mortgage Loans to Entities
Cash c/o Branches
The classification remained substantially unchanged in the following decades, apart from certain updates due to the new activities of the Cassa. In 1919 an important registration of the ‘decisions in principle’ began, from which it appeared that the Archive Department comprised six units. The scientific management era suggested in 1929 that each unit was to be supplied with paper of different colours as follows:
GRAY: All transactions performed by Cassa but mortgages; WHITE: Mortgages written by Cassa and current accounts secured by mortgages; YELLOW: all transactions performed by Real Estate Finance (Credito Fondiario); BLUE: contributions to the Municipalities of Lombardy by the Charity Fund GREEN: grants; PINK: subsidies from the funds of the Pious Support for the Workers’ Children.
An organizational chart dated 1939 ranked the Archive Department and the Registration Department to report to the General Secretariat and such arrangement continued until the first ‘90s. Thanks to this powerful Secretariat, the ancient documents were well classified and properly protected.
The traditional classification and conservation policies were strictly followed for the high hierarchy, reaping the benefit of stability and the hindrance of rigidity; however, departmental archives were established close to the business functions, and operated with some flexibility, that entailed a risk of possible dispersion. The abundant space available for archives invited a copious sedimentation not always checked by sensible culling. In 1965, having encountered a number of problems in the keeping of the archives, a proper ‘Archive Regulations for Branches’ was emanated to rule precisely about records selection and retention schedules. No such rules were given to regulate documentation generated by the central functions that remained under the responsibility of individual executives. About 1983/1985 Cassa issued formal instructions to the record center at Liscate and started a process of automated transfer of files to the repository that was fully operational from 1989. The nature of public body given to Cassa di Risparmio has justified over time the constant supervision of the Government offices that monitor public archives; after the proclamation of the Kingdom of Italy in 1861 the Minister of Interior started requesting reports and statements about the Charity activity in 1865-1867, followed, in 1906, by the official census promoted by the Milan State Archives, that was satisfied with a first inventory of the existing files in 1909. Under the new legislation about archives (1963), Cariplo moved that, irrespective of its status of public economic body, its archives be subjected to the same procedures regulating private enterprises. This position was accepted thereby opening up a new season in the relation between the Cassa and the archive supervisors; a new Guide Inventory was prepared by Giuseppe Merlo in 1971-1975 and a declaration of ‘pre-eminent historical interest’ was obtained in 1976, with the recommendation to house in one location all pledged documents, to be made available to researchers. In 1989 Cariplo entrusted the project of the institution of a Historical Archive to its Research and Planning Department; at the same time some exploration has been carried out by consultants and several documentary series have been vetted, while a unified location was assigned only in May-June 2002. In January 2003 the Historical Archive of Banca Intesa has been established as an administrative internal unit. At the time of this writing (2011) the Historical Archive watches about 3.5 kilometres of linear shelves.