Six historic estates constitute the Archive, the Ojetti estate is the largest as well as the first acquired December 15, 1973. Until that time the correspondence of this illustrious scholar had been kept by his wife Fernanda and later by his daughter Paola. Paola not only donated all of the letters written by Ugo Ojetti to his wife between 1905 and 1940 and returned many manuscripts to their original authors, she reorganized many of the files as well.
The importance and value of this documentation was such that the Soprintendenza of the archives of Tuscany catalogued the entire body. In fact, on March 9, 1971, the files and documents of Ojetti were declared "...to be of notable historical interest and thus subject under articles 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43 of the D.P.R. of September 30, 1963, no. 10469 ‘for information of relevant importance regarding the activity of an eminent journalist and writer...'". Given the great interest in the Estate for its history of modern art as well as for the Italian customs of the time, the publisher Mondadori determined to publish in its entirety all of the correspondence. The widow Ojetti succeeded in many case in enriching the collection with Ojetti's replies to his correspondents. The publication however did not materialize due to Fernanda Ojetti's age and poor health; she was unable to bring the project to its conclusion. Copies of the letters of Ojetti are conserved in the estate. The archive is constituted in two written sections. The first is ordered into 78 files, containing, in alphabetical order, documents on about 1598 artists, collectors and artistic writers; the second section, ordered into 113 files, contains writings in alphabetical order by writers, politicians, professionals and personalities from the world of entertainment. Furthermore the Archive conserves, in 4 files, a valuable collection of letters from various artists addressed to Domenico Trentacoste.
The De Carolis archive was acquired in 1986, enriching the already ample collection of works by De Carolis present in the Gallery. Scrupulously conserved by his daughter Arianna and her husband Diego Pettinelli, son-in-law and student of the master, the archive maintains its original subdivision in alphabetical order by correspondent. In 1997 the estate was enriched by a collection of 128 photographs and 8 small designs from the private De Carolis archive as well. The estate, acquired by a small collector, contains other photographs of various types, a number of them made directly by the artist which bear witness to his interest in Renaissance art and for photography in general from which he often took suggestion and stimulation for the realization of his own art.
Of particular value is a conspicuous collection autographed by Gabriele D'Annunzio relating to scenery and incisions realized by De Carolis for works by the poet; 8 small sketch designs (conserved in the graphics depository) and 28 photographic images of small format made by De Carolis himself.
The Maraini estate was acquired by the National Gallery of Modern Art in 1990 directly from the heirs. The archive had been conserved in the house of his son Grato in a 2 by 3 meter bookshelf organized by Maraini himself. The files are in thick paper, numbered discontinuously but subdivided in twelve series marked by various colors and containing various numbers of files with handwritten letters, manuscripts of reviews and articles, notes for conferences and speeches, reports, lists with artists' names and addresses, floor plans of pavilions and artwork showrooms and set-ups, reliefs and monumental groups, books, magazines, article cutouts, photographs.
The fifth estate acquired, in chronological order, was the Valori Plastici archive, part of the patrimonial inheritance left by Edita Broglio, put on auction in April of 1990 and acquired by the State through its right of first refusal.
The estate embraces a vast arc of time from the beginning of the century to the end of the 1950's. Biographically it refers to Mario and Edita Broglio and their complex network of relationships, retraceable through letters and various documents promoting cultural, publishing and exhibition activities as well as collecting and the art market. Important documents (among them Broglio, De Chirico, Savinio, De Pisis, Soffici, Melli) bear witness to the birth of the movement Valori Plastici and the release of eponymous magazine, founded by Broglio and Melli on November 15, 1918. This documentation within the archive is practically complete. Interesting documentation relates to the activities of the collector and dealer Mario Broglio: lists, correspondence, contracts, urgent requests of a financial nature from various artists such as Carrà, De Chirico, Morandi, Martini, Francalancia, his wife Edita and his associate Mario Girardon. Of equal interest are files for scholars and art writers, referring to the editorial activity which was coupled with the magazine such as the edition Artistic Civilization between 1922 and 1924.
Finally upon the proposal of the heirs of Giorgi, a small collection of papers between Giulio Aristide Sartorio and Pietro Giorgi (1850-1916) was acquired by the Gallery in November of 2000 and valued at 40,000,000 lire. Giorgi, a dilettante artist, was friend and often patron of not only Sartorio, but also of Ricci, Morandi, Coleman and Carlandi. The estate was acquired in order to enrich the Gallery's documentation related to Sartorio, an artist with many works owned by the museum. The papers are particularly interesting from their documentary point of view as they illustrate the young Sartorio's discovery of Paris where, studying and working, he was financed by Giorgi. The documents illustrate his first artistic endeavors as well. In fact, at the margins of 18 letters can be seen graphic notes, watercolors, sketches in pen and small designs. In October of 1999 the Archive of Historical Estates, together with the Bio-iconographic Archive, joined the Consortium B.A.I.C.R. (Libraries, Archives and Institutes of Rome) for the project "Archives of the 20th Century", available for consultation via Internet and since 2003 present on the website Archives of the 20th Century - Memory on line (www.archividelnovecento.it).