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ETRU's archives, library and storerooms

ETRU conserves a collection of national importance, comprising drawings, photographs and documentation on Etruria. Are you a researcher? Do you want to take photographs for a catalogue? Are you looking for documents or historical drawings from excavations? Come to discover our archives and warehouses. Discover the unpublished archives in the Things never seen

Photographic archive

The archive contains more than three hundred thousand images, is available for research and consultation activities, and also provides reproduction rights. Founded in 1889, it is housed within the National Etruscan Museum in Villa Giulia and brings together and promotes photographic documentation of the archaeological collection (www.censimento.fotografia.italia) as well as past activities carried out by the Superintendency

The photographic archive contains documentation:     
- of exhibits conserved in the Museum’s Villa Giulia and Villa Poniatowski branches
- from excavation and restoration work carried out by the Superintendency of Lower Etruria
- from collections and exhibitions of the museums of Tarquinia, Tuscania, Cerveteri,  Viterbo, Civitavecchia, Vulci, Civita Castellana, Capena (Lucus Feroniae Antiquarium) and Santa Severa (Pyrgi Antiquarium)
- from cultural events and activities taking place in the Villa Giulia and Villa Poniatowski Museum branches as well as those which took place in the past in the premises and archaeological areas overseen by the Superintendency.

For consultation 
To get access to the photographic archive, please fill in and send request forms to Antonietta Simonelli:


Documents archive

The documents archive was created in 1889 — the same year the Museum was founded — and since 1939 it contains all documents regarding excavation and restoration activities conducted by the Archaeology Superintendency of Lower Etruria (which later became the Archaeological Superintendency), in connection with the relevant territory of Etruscan cities and its museums — including the Etruscan Museum in Villa Giulia before this became independent.

It is consulted by scholars and researchers from all over the world, as well as by colleagues of the current Superintendency, for study, research and supervision activities.

The documents archive is available for consultation by appointment:

Dr. Antonietta Simonelli +39 06 3226571

Drawings archive

The Drawings archive contains more than one hundred historic drawings with water colour, tempera or ink from important draftsmen, including Odoardo Ferretti, Luigi Giammiti and Italo Gismondi, the renowned author of the monumental model of Imperial Rome of the Museo della Civiltà Romana. The rest of the documentation (more than two thousand five hundred digitally catalogued drawings) dates from the 1950s through to the end of the 20th century.

The drawings may only be consulted within the Museum. They have been used for preparing specific guide books (Villa Giulia dalle origini al 2000, published by L'Erma di Bretschneider) and have formed the basis for academic research and theses by students in Italian and foreign institutions.

The archive is only available for consultation by appointment, by writing to:


The Library, which has more than nineteen thousand texts on Etruscan and Greek archaeology, is currently being refurbished in the Villa Giulia branch. It will shortly be open once again for scholars, researchers and enthusiasts.

The Library contains donations from leading Italian archaeologists like Raniero Mengarelli, Maria Santangelo and Mario Moretti. It has recently acquired the personal library of Massimo Pallottino, the father of modern Etruscology.
The Library’s works include editions regarding extremely important excavations (including Athenian Agora, Corinth, Kerameikos, Lefkandi, Meligunís Lipára, Olympische Forschungen), the collections of the Corpus Vasorum Antiquorum (Italy, France, Germany, England, U.S.A., Netherlands, etc.), with more than two hundred volumes relating to as many Italian and foreign museums, and the Corpus Speculorum Etruscorum; as well as other major works such as the Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae and the Thesaurus Cultus et Rituum Antiquorum (ThesCRA).
The Library also has an important section dedicated to Italian and foreign periodicals:
Notizie degli Scavi, Studi Etruschi, Archeologia Classica, Mitteilungen des Deutschen Archaeologischen Instituts Roemische Abteilung, Mélanges de l'Ecole Française de Rome Antiquité.

Dr. Antonietta Simonelli +39 06 3226571


The National Etruscan Museum promotes the development of research, documentation, information and study on its heritage, with particular regard to the items of the collections kept in storage (art. 3 of the Statute of the ETRU).

Access to the materials stored in the Museum's storerooms is allowed for research and/or study purposes, upon presentation of a request which must be addressed, at least 30 days in advance, to, to the attention of the scientific curators of the relevant section.

The request must contain a detailed description of the project and/or work for which access to the storerooms is necessary, accompanied by a list of contexts and/or items to be examined.

It is a necessary and essential condition for access to be equipped with appropriate insurance coverage (on one’s own, or provided by the Body of affiliation) covering the risks of injury derived from the activity in the above-mentioned premises. Those who do not have insurance coverage provided by their institution must fill out the following disclaimer [download the file], to be taken with you on the first day of access to the storerooms.

Note: Access to the storerooms of the National Etruscan Museum must be in full compliance with the provisions of Law 81/2008 on safety in the workplace. No civil and/or criminal liability for damage to third parties (persons, things or animals) as a result of staying in the storerooms and premises of the Museum may be borne by ETRU. 


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