The sites of the National Roman Museum conserve the Archives of the former Special Office for Rome’s Archaeological Heritage Sites, of which the Museum was part until 2016 when it became an independent institution.

Historical Archive

The Historical Archive, kept at the Palazzo Altemps, brings together all documentary material (235 linear metres) produced by the Rome Provincial Office for Excavations and Monuments since its founding in 1870, including Excavation Notebooks, records of ‘Logs of Objects Found’, conservation files for the historical centre and suburban area and the Iconographic Collection, which includes graphic material developed to support the documentation on excavation and restoration of archaeological monuments (8,900 drawings). The Archive also conserves scientific material used to prepare the drafts of the Archaeological Map of Rome and a sizeable body of copied documentation taken from public and private archives and from collections of major interest to enrich the study of the topography of Ancient Rome.

The computerised indexes of the Historical Archive can be consulted at the dedicated website. 

Access is upon reservation (email to on Wednesdays, 9:30 – 13:30.


Photographic Archive

The Photographic Archive, held at the Palazzo Massimo, contains a documentary collection of unparalleled value, which comprises more than one million documents of a range of different types (glass-plate negatives and negatives on film, prints, photographic index cards, digital images, videos): for the most part, these documents relate to the cultural heritage works held at the sites of the National Roman Museum and in its stores, and cover a timespan from the end of the 19th century to today.

Contacts: tel. +39 06 48020255 ; email:

Catalogue Archive

The Catalogue Archive, held at the Palazzo Massimo, stores inventory records since 1900, paper records relating to inventory data (first, second and third draft) and catalogue data (archaeological artefact records) relating to the archaeological pieces owned by the Government and currently held mainly at the National Roman Museum. It also covers items held at the sites managed by the Special Office for Roman Archaeology, Fine Arts and Landscape, the Colosseum Archaeological Site and Appia Antica Archaeological Site, and held in storage with other bodies and institutions, supplemented by catalogue records of pieces in private and church ownership.

Contacts: tel. 06 48 020756 ; email:

Procedures for accessing the archives

The Archives are open to the public by appointment, which can be scheduled by email sent to the corresponding offices:

Access to the Archives is subject to completion of the corresponding request form, on which users must provide a detailed list of the documents they wish to consult. The form, duly completed and signed, must be sent to the email address for the corresponding Archive.

Users must comply with the internal rules of procedure for the corresponding Archives.

Users may make copies of the documents they have asked to consult using their own equipment in accordance with the precautions laid down in Article 108(3) and (3-bis) of Legislative Decree No 42/2004 (as amended). Direct photo reproduction is free if it is not for financial gain, if it is undertaken for the purposes of study, research, freedom of thought or creative expression, or promotion of knowledge of cultural heritage.

Before taking copies, users must complete a corresponding declaration indicating that the legal conditions for exercising the right to make personal copies of archive documents they have asked to consult have been met.

Photo reproductions may not be made of the copied collections held in the Historical Archive.

Users may request that documents and photographs held in the Archives of the Photo Reproduction Department of the National Roman Museum be copied by completing a corresponding form (for details of the formats that may be copied and the costs of the service, please refer to the Price List).
Acceptance of such requests is subject to examination of the state of conservation of the documents and authorisation from the General Management of the National Roman Museum.

Request for photo reproduction

Specific authorisation must be requested by users wishing to publish reproductions of documents or photographs held in the Archives, using a corresponding form.

Request for publication authorisation