The Unità di Analisi, Programmazione, Statistica e Documentazione Storica ensures the preservation and the public access to the historical records produced by the MOFA central offices and by the diplomatic Missions and Consular agencies abroad and takes care of the MOFA library.

The Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs conceived this Web portal, Foreign Policy and History: documents and images of Italian Diplomacy, as a way to enhance its historical heritage, by facilitating the access

  • to the printed collections of Italian diplomatic documents till now published,
  • to the virtual exhibitions realized with the original documents of the Diplomatic Historical Archives
  • to some rare and valuable books kept in its Library.

The Website was developed by the Istituto Poligrafico e Zecca dello Stato, which provided the digitization of the documents and implemented a user-friendly platform to explore the archival and the librarian material.

The Web portal is divided into three sections, namely

  • Diplomatic Documents
  • Virtual Exhibitions
  • and Library.

The Diplomatic Documents section consists of the digital version of the two printed collections - the chronological collection (I Documenti Diplomatici Italiani) and the thematic collection (Documenti sulla Politica Internazionale dell'Italia) - and provides a new textual research function both for the individual documents and the whole collection.

The Virtual Exhibitions section presents the same historical documents already exhibited during previous international events organized by La Farnesina. The documents are organized in galleries of imagines corresponding to the real showcases and, in some cases, grouped in sections. Each document, entirely digitized, is provided with a description of the content and of the related archival information. Moreover, short texts guide the visitors to the major historical issues of the exhibition.

The Library section will host the digitization of rare and valuable books such as Dei delitti e delle pene by Cesare Beccaria (1764), Delle navigazioni et viaggi by Giovanni Battista Ramusio (1559) and the two volumes of Corso geografico by Vincenzo Maria Coronelli (1692). Also some official collections will be digitized, such as the Testi e Documenti sulla Politica Estera dell'Italia (until 2001, then La Politica Estera dell'Italia: Testi e Documenti), dealing with the international activities of the highest Italian Institutions for International Affairs.