The Archivo Diaristico Nazionale started in 1984 in the small town of Pieve Santo Stefano, under the name “Città del diario”. From the town hall’s public archive, the writings of ordinary people — diaries, letters, autobiographical accounts — offer insight into the lived experiences and life stories of Italians throughout the years.
Four decades after the end of the Second World War, the archive was born as a place of remembrance — a public space to preserve private memories. Conceived and founded by Saverio Tutino, the initiative soon attracted international attention from scholars and journalists. The archive’s purpose is not only to preserve texts, but to share the wealth of information it now holds. Back in the day, the Pieve Prize competition encouraged the submission of writings in a small newspaper ad. Years later, the archive boasts a collection of over 8,000 ego-documents. Among them is the famous memoir by Clelia Marchi.
In 1991, upon the initiative of the Municipality of Pieve Santo Stefano, the National Diary Archive Foundation was created. It later became a non-profit organisation recognised by Ministerial Decree in the year 2000. The archive continues to publish a number of editorial productions, including their magazine Primapersona, released twice a year. It has also been pushed cinematic and theatrical projects involving materials in their collection. Since 2009, the documentary heritage of the Pieve Santo Stefano Archive has been in the State Cultural Heritage Code.