Monday, 6th September 2021 - First session

Accademia dei Georgofili: tra storia e presente 

Paolo Nanni (Univeristà degli Studi di Firenze) - Chiara Giuliacci (Università degli Studi di Firenze)

Accademia dei Georgofili, historical institutions founded in Florence at the end of the XVIII century, store an invaluable historical documentary heritage (library, archive, photographic library, map library, museum), but at the same time, they are present representatives of a deeply transdisciplinary cultural and methodological heritage. This unique historical and cultural legacy finds a wide range of applications, from the environment, to agriculture, from geography to landscape architecture, from astronomy to natural science. The centuries-old research and experimentation activity represents a resource to face the always new challenges that define the third millennium. Georgofili represents a particular example to elaborate appropriate strategies of heritage active conservation, always open to new applications in research, training, education and understanding, in the fields that define their activity, between history and present time.

L'Osservatorio Ximeniano: oltre due secoli e mezzo al servizio della scienza

Andrea Cantile (Fondazione Osservatorio Ximeniano onlus)

The paper offers a brief overview of the Ximenian Observatory, highlighting the various fields of interest (astronomy, cartography, meteorology, seismology, radio technology), from its birth to the recent transformation into a third sector body. More specifically, the main scientific contributions offered by the various directors are illustrated, from the birth of the Observatory, which took place in 1756, up to recent statutory transformations, which marked a decisive opening to the history of science, while not neglecting the traditional tasks of the systematic survey in the meteorological and seismic sectors.

Gli studi specialistici dell’Istituto Internazionale di Agricoltura

Roberto Reali (Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche)

The International Institute of Agriculture founded in Rome in 1905 had the main goal of creating statistical tools and indicators for the world censuses of agricultural production. A further and interesting development of the Institute was the publication of some specialized studies that saw the collaboration of scholars from various nations. Their study is still an important stage in the reconstruction of the agricultural history of the twentieth century.

El Archivo Central del Ministerio de Agricultura, Pesca y Alimentación: fuentes documentales para el estudio de la agricultura, la ganadería, etc. en España

María del Rocío Sánchez Serrano (Archivo Central del Ministerio de Agricultura, Pesca y Alimentación - España)

The Central Archive of the Ministry of Agriculture (Ministerio de Agricultura, Pesca y Alimentación) is the body in charge of coordinating the overall management of documents in the institution. The main functions of the Archive are, to wit, to gather, organize, describe and preserve the records and administrative documents generated by the Ministry according to its legal capacity. The Archive must also make available the said records and documents to researchers, private citizens and the government itself. Its main challenge involves the set-up of the Archives Management System, which integrates all electronic documents in the network and provides full necessary support to the Ministry’s aims and goals as they are established by Spanish legislation. Archives. Documentary sources. Agrarian institutions

The role of Embrapa in the preservation of Brazilian Agrarian Heritage

Natália Bolfarini Tognoli (Fluminense Federal University (UFF), Department of Information Science. Niterói, RJ, Brazil)

In 2013, the Charter of Baeza defined the Agrarian Heritage as the group of tangible and intangible, natural and cultural properties generated and used for farming activity throughout history. These properties can be moveable, immovable, groups of immovable properties, intangible heritage, and natural and generic heritage. The archival and bibliographical documents, considered here moveable heritage, are important sources for agricultural workers and academic research, once they reveal a knowledge that highlights not only the history of cultivation and breeding techniques but also the social relations imbricated in this process. Aiming to promote, stimulate and coordinate research, development, and innovation activities in the Brazilian agricultural sector, Embrapa (Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa Agropecuária) has been producing technical and scientific knowledge for efficient and sustainable agriculture since 1973. This knowledge is held in the institution's archival documents, reports, and research, as well as in the information systems developed by the organization to disseminate knowledge about agricultural techniques in its databases and institutional open-access repositories. In addition, the organization hosts the website Memória Embrapa (Embrapa Memory), which tells its legacy through archival documents and photographs, whose history is intertwined with the history of Brazilian agricultural development. In this context, this proposal aims to present the actions developed within Emprapa for the preservation of the Brazilian agrarian heritage.


                                                 Monday, 6th September 2021 - Second session

Il patrimonio agrario lucchese tra Settecento e Ottocento

Laura Giambastiani (Università degli Studi di Firenze)

The report intends to address issues relating to the organization, regulation, and management of agricultural activities, in particular in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries with special attention to the Lucca area. Aspects relating to institutional structures will also be examined and analyzed.

Grano, pane e fame in età moderna. Gli archivi raccontano

Gilda Nicola (Università della Tuscia)

The trinity: wheat, flour, bread, fills the history of Europe, said Fernand Braudel. Throughout the modern age, bread continued to be the fundamental food, while the remuneration of work (for agricultural workers and general labourers) did not change substantially, at least until the end of the 18th century. The analysis will be carried out in a defined area, that of Viterbo in the modern age, through the use of a series of sources that provide information on the living conditions of the workers and the production and distribution of grain, as well as the organisation set up to ensure daily bread for those who needed it and its cost between the 16th and 19th centuries. There are also a series of indicators relating to the prices of some of the most widely consumed items for daily consumption and some data concerning the wages (daily and monthly) of some workers (mainly agricultural workers) as they were set by the city authorities or paid in the square of Viterbo. The information concerning bread, prices and wages will be reconstructed mainly from the collection of edicts and proclamations issued by the vice legates and then by the governors of the Province of Patrimonio and the conservators of the Community of Viterbo, which is collected in the series of the same name in the Historical Municipal Archive of Viterbo. Other archival documentation used comes from the Diocesan Documentation Centre for Religious History and Culture of Viterbo, in particular from the papers of the series "Mensa vescovile" of the Diocesan Historical Archive of Viterbo, from the papers of the Capitular Archive, from the papers of some confraternities and of some convents and monasteries that fell within the territory of the Diocese of Viterbo.

Famiglia e riforma agraria fra gli anni '30 e '60 del Novecento

Elisabetta Girotto (Universidad Nova Lisbona - Portugal)

The paper proposes a reflection on the representation of the family in the multifaceted context of the Italian agrarian reforms between the 1930s and 1960s.On the one hand, through a stratified reading of the languages of the Istituto Luce propaganda films, an attempt will be made to identify the most relevant nodes that characterized the relationship between the dictatorship and the family; on the other hand, the study of the documents produced, after the Second World War, by the Propaganda and Press Section of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers will make it possible to reflect on the transformations and continuities that distinguish the link between democracy and the family. The analysis of models and gender stereotypes proves to be an effective tool for tracing the contradictions, caesurae and constants that characterize the socio-cultural transformations of the family itself. Through a diachronic comparison, the aim is therefore to reflect on the different phases of the agrarian reforms that accompanied the modernization process of the country. It is in this context that the family proves to be a privileged observatory for investigating consolidated practices and practices, but also elements of modernity which, as we shall see, often do not coincide with the democratic change.

Le fonti per la storia dell'agricoltura nel fondo archivistico della Presidenza del Consiglio dei Ministri

Simona Greco (Ministero della Cultura - Archivio Centrale dello Stato)

The reading of documents preserved at the Presidency of the Council of Minister's archival fond promotes the changes’ understanding which completely signed the agriculture social, economic and political aspects. Political lines adopted for the institutions and agricultural regulation, for production and markets dynamics, for social relations, and, lastly, for the techno-agronomic culture and international scenarios, are emerging. Political objectives, contextualized during the concerned historical period (between 19th and 20th century) and in different environmental contexts, are restoring the agricultural evolutive lines. The latter can be considered as a crucial tool not only for the territorial building but also for the society organization and the landscape shaping.

Interconnessioni tecnico-archivistiche per il patrimonio agrario

Annantonia Martorano (Università degli Studi di Firenze) - Irene Rossi (Università degli Studi di Firenze)

The archives represent a precious and inexhaustible source for researches both historically and in management useful also for studying agrarian property. In Tuscany, the domestic and noblemen’s archives represent effectively the union of these two aspects. Analysing the organization of these archives we can find administrative documentation and bookkeeping concerning the management of the estates and farms. The analysis of the information that can be identified within this precious documentary heritage allows us to reconstruct and understand how man establishes relations with the environment, the landscape evolution in the territory, the functioning of the sharecropping system, the varieties of crops produced and their distribution, livestock maintenance, and many other issues related to agricultural possessions. This paper aims to present the documentation of these archives and the interconnections with the agronomic data therein found.

Dalla spiga al fusillo. Descrizione e comunicazione del patrimonio documentario sulla lavorazione del grano nell’età contemporanea

Eleonora Todde (Università degli Studi di Cagliari) - Elena Gonnelli (Università degli Studi di Firenze)

Although agriculture is one of the central sectors of our country and wheat represents a fundamental production axis, the historical reconstruction dedicated to it is still not fully known. The archival sources in this field not only provide evidence of agricultural history but also show an important cross-section of economic, social, building and territorial history. This paper is based on a number of questions that aim to shed light on the heterogeneous and polymorphous documentary heritage of cereal production in the contemporary age in its various phases. The aspects that are of interest are many, as are the subjects producing the documents, which differ both in terms of their preservation purposes, but also in terms of the methods of tradition and above all, today, in terms of communication and dissemination strategies. In this sense, the exemplary case of the Barilla Historical Archive (Archivio Storico Barilla) represents a point of arrival, thanks also to heritage marketing that exposes memory with an easily accessible exhibition project. But what are the archives that represent the threads and warps of this complex agrarian fabric? How do we organise the documentary heritage that bears witness to production and commercial processes related to wheat in all its stages of transformation? Why is there a need to preserve (or not preserve) the historical memory of a tradition that has become a business?


                                                      Tuesday, 7th September 2021 - Third session

Gli archivi degli Antoniani di Vienne come fonti per la storia agraria: il caso di Firenze e Pistoia

Mariangela Rapetti (Università degli Studi di Cagliari) - Lorenzo Sergi (Università degli Studi di Cagliari)

The paper will analyze the ancient Archives of the house of the Order of St. Anthony in Florence, nowadays in the fonds Precettoria di Sant’Antonio di Firenze and Diplomatico - Firenze S. Antonio Abate (precettoria, canonici regolari) of Archivio di Stato of Florence. The aim is to examine the ancient system of arrangement and the tradition of documents relating to agricultural estates, contracts and rents of cultivated land in Tuscany. In particular, the presentation will focus on the analysis of the agricultural sources concerning Pistoia.

Innovazioni teoriche e pratiche abituali: un percorso nelle tecniche agricole toscane fra XVIII e XIX secolo (1750-1815)

Daniele Vergari (Associazione G.B. Landeschi)

Between the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Tuscan agriculture was at the centre of a great transformation: with the new Lorraine government, in a phase of population increase, it was necessary to increase production and cultivate new surfaces, thus giving rise to the introduction and improvement of agricultural techniques under the pressure of the newly established Georgofili Academy, founded in 1753. The innovation of cultivation techniques, proposed through memoirs, treatises and manuals published between 1750 and 1815, clashed with the "resistance" of traditional cultivation practices operated by farmers and sharecroppers under the surveillance of the factors. A complex picture, already the subject of interesting studies in the past (C. Pazzagli, G. Biagioli, R. Pazzagli, etc.) which deserves further investigation possible only through the intersection between published sources and other types of archival sources.

I trattati di "Pratica agrari". Un caso di fine Settecento: "Pratica agraria distribuita in varj dialoghi" opera di Giovanni Antonio Battarra (Cesena, Biasini All'Insegna di Pallade, 1789)

Ivo Biagianti (Università degli Studi di Siena)

Agrarian treatises have been widespread since ancient times, from the Works and days of Hesiod, to the De re rustica texts by Cato, Varro, Columella and other authors of the classical age, written to transmit and pass on knowledge and good agricultural practices. and the new acquisitions between landowners, settlers, farmers, agricultural technicians. With the advent of movable type printing, these classic texts will be printed and will have a wide circulation, starting from the fifteenth century. Progressively these texts, in dealing with agrarian questions, pass from the mythological and bucolic level to the didactic and prescriptive one, especially with the treatises of agricultural practice that flourished in the modern age. The genre is characterized by a descriptive arrangement of the materials, organized according to the seasons and months in which the respective works must be carried out to distribute agricultural work in a balanced manner throughout the months of the year and present all agricultural activities, which must be carried out in rational way and in due time. As the texts follow one another, they are enriched with new technical knowledge, new agricultural tools, the spread of new practices and new crops, especially after the discovery of the new world; finally with the introduction of agricultural mechanization, irrigation and chemical fertilizers. My speech focuses on the contextualization and analysis of a Treaty of agricultural practice of the late eighteenth century, which I present as a mature example of a "genre" of publications, aimed at raising the knowledge of the villagers with the dissemination of innovations in agricultural practices , especially in the light of the eighteenth-century physiocratic orientations. The author, Giovanni Antonio Battarra from Rimini, after studying in the seminary was a professor of philosophy in various local institutions and became passionate about the study of natural sciences and mycology, leaving us a treatise on mushrooms in the Rimini area. His Treaty of agricultural practice, printed for the first time in 1782, circulated for a long time in the academies dedicated to agricultural studies, especially on the borders between Romagna and Marche: even in San Marino the Republic imposed on landowners the obligation to purchase at least one copy.

“Istruzioni per la preservazione de’ grani dalla rubigine e altri malori” di Giuseppe Cossu, censore generale nella Sardegna sabauda

Cecilia Tasca (Università degli Studi di Cagliari)

The intervention focuses on the documentation related to the eighteenth-century reform of the Granatic Mountains, preserved in the Paesi-Sardegna fund of the State Archive of Turin. The specific objective is to examine the techniques of sowing and harvesting grains in the rural countries of Sardinia in light of the directives given by Dr Giuseppe Cossu, an "illustrious" and "enlightened" official of the General Censorate of the Kingdom.

Le varie facce della sicurezza alimentare. La "rivoluzione verde"  nelle carte di Gian Tommaso Scarascia Mugnozza

Giovanni Paoloni (Università di Roma La Sapienza)

If you look for news online, or even authoritative repertoires, for news on that vast phenomenon of change in agriculture of the twentieth century known as the 'green revolution', it will be easy to see how the contribution of Italian research is completely neglected or at least decidedly underestimated by historiography, including Italian historiography. This contribution, on the other hand, aims to show how this contribution was important, and how this importance can be easily inferred also on the basis of objective data (patents, scientific awards and royalties). In particular, the important role played by Gian Tommaso Scarascia Mugnozza emerges from the sources not only as a researcher and innovator in scientific and technical terms, but also as a research politician, and more generally as a politician tout court. In the development of his activities, in fact, it can clearly be seen that after the phase most directly connected to the results obtained by him and his group at the 'gamma field' of the Casaccia Nuclear Research Center, he has considerably broadened the prospects for classification. problem theorist, developing an approach based on the idea of ​​'food security' which included both nutritional aspects and the need to ensure adequate food availability, without ever losing sight of issues relating to biodiversity, whose monitoring and safeguard was a pioneer. This activity involved the Academy of XL during his presidency and also led him to develop an intense relationship with national and international organizations, among which the FAO is limited in this abstract.

Agricoltura, ambiente e economia nelle carte di Michele De Benedictis

Francesca Nemore (Università La Sapienza Roma)

The archive of Michele De Benedictis, professor of agricultural economics and policy and member of numerous national and international associations on agricultural policies, preserves numerous traces of his research and study work on various issues related to the development of agriculture as a tool for economic well-being, but also as a means for maintaining and developing a balanced ecosystem. The intervention proposed here aims to analyse De Benedictis' papers on some research and projects that link together some of the fundamental themes of Debenedict's research, namely the "technological dualism" of Italian agriculture, the regional effects of agricultural policy of the European Community and, finally, the phenomenon of family businesses and part-time in agriculture. All these studies also conducted in the field, as happens for example with the FAO Syria project, have left deep traces in the archive of an articulated and complex personality of scholar like that of Michele De Benedictis, allowing, a few years after the professor's death, to outline a profile of a researcher who has explored all the economic areas of agricultural policies.

                                                    Tuesday, 7th September 2021 - Fourth session

I cerali tra storia dell'agricoltura e formazione del paesaggio agrario

Rossano Pazzagli (Università degli Studi del Molise)

Mediterranean agriculture is the daughter of a civilization based on bread and the trinity of crops represented by the olive tree, the vine and above all cereals. The cultivation of cereals has therefore shaped the Italian countryside, influencing the territorialization process and the formation of the landscape. The historical sources - archaeological, iconographic, archival - testify the importance of cereals and the technical, economic and cultural transformation of cereal cultivation from the middle ages to the modern age.

Fonti e metodi per le indagini storiche nell’ambito dei programmi FAO GIAHS, registro nazionale dei paesaggi rurali storici e politiche di sviluppo rurale

Mauro Agnoletti (Università degli Studi di Firenze)

In recent decades, historical research in agriculture and forestry has moved from a reading that has often investigated social, economic, and landscape transformations for documentary purposes, to an attempt to identify the values ​​associated with the territory and to investigate agricultural, forestry, and pastoral practices. , in order to understand the rules and propose them again in the context of a model of sustainability to which modern agriculture must respond. The importance of these new directions is demonstrated by the birth of specific programs such as the one on Important Agricultural Systems of the World Heritage (GIAHS) in the FAO context and the introduction of the landscape as an objective in EU agricultural policies, which took place in Italy with the national strategic plan. of rural development 2007-2013 and with the establishment of the National Register of Rural Landscapes of Historic Interest established within the National Rural Landscape Observatory Established by the Ministry of Agriculture in 2012. In this context, the historical survey has also had to review the sources and methods, as well as giving space to various disciplines that in recent decades have dealt with the relationship between man and the environment that today involve many categories of scholars. The initial interest in forest history for forestry practices, a discipline born in Germany and officially taught at the Vallombrosa Forest School in 1869, was followed in the second post-war period by more systemic approaches such as historical ecology, which then merged into the context of environmental history, today organized in numerous scientific societies of a regional nature, which have joined the traditional studies of the history of agriculture. The novelty that distinguishes these studies is that they have adopted a multidisciplinary approach which, alongside traditional primary and secondary sources, also uses the "land" as a source, meaning the landscape and vegetation structures that are able to provide information to be associated with paper sources, suggesting also specific survey methodologies for the reconstruction of historical dynamics. From a historiographical point of view, this transformation is associated with the adoption of an ecosystemic approach in anthropology, also known as "neofunctionalism", which has led to consider the relationships between populations and resources. Cultural identity, as well as traditional knowledge, is also related to landscape diversity, which in turn is linked to the "typicality" of small-scale agricultural production and associated practices. The historical investigation must therefore adopt adequate sources and methods to analyze the transformations and identify values ​​and knowledge associated with the rural landscape, in order to provide adequate support to the current agricultural and environmental policy tools. The report will illustrate examples of sources and methods currently used in these fields, with particular reference to the activities of FAO and the Ministry of Agriculture.

Produzione agricola in una tenuta agricola durante la rivoluzione industriale, un caso di studio in Toscana, Italia.

Marco Napoli (Università degli Studi di Firenze) - Carolina Fabbri (Università degli Studi di Firenze)

The agricultural practices of the past represent cultural heritage, strongly connected to the history of the territory and its identity. The collection of information and analysis are useful tools to enhance the techniques once adopted in sharecropping territories, to readjust them to new technologies. All this is possible through research in the historical archives of the agricultural estates of the area. However, the not always easy availability of agricultural archival documentation and the high fragmentation of conservation have made the use of archival agronomic data complicated. The study involves an analysis of the cultivation systems and land use in three Tuscan farms (Tenuta di Luciano, Fattoria di Celsa and Tenuta di Peccioli and Morrona) from 1750 to 1900. The aim was to analyze the type of crops practised, the percentages of each type, the destination of the harvest (use of settlers, sharecroppers, livestock or sale of the product) and the variability of land occupation over the years (crop cycles). The analyzed data represent an important source of information both to pass on a work where scientific research and culture come together and to provide knowledge for the development of new agronomic techniques or improvement of existing ones.

Quali sono i nuovi sviluppi dell'agricoltura rispetto alle esperienze passate?

Filiberto Altobelli (CREA) - Patrizia Borsotto (CREA)

In the last decades, the topics related to agriculture, landscape, territory and the environment has been marked by a renewed interest. In farms all over the world, farmers are rediscovering past management techniques as methods to guarantee the long-term soil fertility and ensure the crop production stability. However, the information of techniques adopted in the past is fragmented and not easy to access, languishing in university cellars, academies and private funds. Therefore, both from sector experts and researchers there is a lack of full investigation of the sources. In this respect, the research on agricultural archives ad sources represents a key sector for both agricultural History in Italy, Europe and the world and the recovery of community’s identity.  The study of the available archival sources aims to retrace the rural development, to identify and analyze the cultivation techniques adopted in the past; identify the techniques and timing of soil tillage and fertilization, the crops grown and the rotations applied, the relationship between State and local farmers. The information obtained from archives, analyzed and compared with agronomic techniques and technical means currently available in agriculture, might contribute to the optimization of the cultivation techniques of old wheat varieties. As a result, there might be an advantage in sustainability, from an economic, technological and environmental point of view. The aim of the conference is to build an effective cooperation between science and society, to associate scientific excellence with awareness and social responsibility. The aim is also to integrate the community in the themes, policies and activities of science, in cultural sources and documentary evidence available in the archives. Finally, the aim is to integrate the interests and citizens values, increasing the quality, relevance, social acceptability and sustainability of the research and cultural results.

The Maugini Archive and the Centro di Documentazione Inedita for a history of the Instituto Agronomico per l'Oltremare and its tropical museum

Beatrice Falcucci (American Academy in Rome)

The Istituto Agricolo Coloniale Italiano was established in Florenxe in 1904 by Professor and Accademico dei Georgofili Gino Bartolommei Gioli, whose aim was to create a study centre that would support Italian colonial policy, contribute to the training of experts on tropical agriculture, and inspire admiration and love for Italy's colonies. The museum formed an essential part of the colonial project, displaying the material aspect of the African territories, presenting their economic potential, addressing the colonies as a place where Italians could invest and stimulating their imperial vocations. this article traces the history of the institute and its museum, drawing on the rich documentation of the institute itself, outlining a story of continuity and rupture in the "political" use of agronomic science, both during the colonial period and in the subsequent period of development cooperation.

Traditional agriculture in Afghanistan

Qudratullah Soofizada (Agricultural Research Institute of Afghanistan - ARIA)

Between the mid-18th century and the mid-20th century, the main livelihoods in Afghanistan were farming and pastoralism. It is true that the tribal system of the Afghans likely originated in areas where pastoral economy was important, but in many localities both in the south and the north, they practised agriculture as well, and some communities were exclusively of peasants. Wheat and barley were the staple crops, but rice and other cereals are cultivated successfully in suitable localities. While in the highest inhabited valleys, could only get one grain crop a year during the moderate climate of a short-lived summer, in the low-lying valleys of the three main rivers, a warmer climate, a rich soil, and an abundance of water were suitable to cultivate rice and lemon orchards. Cotton was also important, both for a domestic textile manufacture and for export. Fruits and nuts have also been important export items. However, in large swathes of the country, and especially outside the three main river basins, agriculture provided at best a subsistence and was not a road to accumulate wealth. In fact, because water for irrigation was available locally in a few regions, land on average did not produce a lot making the average peasant poor and exposed to the risk of droughts.


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