The scientific cataloguing of the artistic patrimony of the Gallery was begun at the end of 1965 under the direction of Giorgio de Marchis.
Through a contribution made by the National Council of Research an initial overview of the Museum's patrimony was conducted on the basis of inventory lists and a first cataloguing summary which led to a detailed subdivision of the works of the 19th and 20th centuries, Italian and foreign artists, methods of execution without distinction between works on, or not on display.
This was followed by an in-depth cataloguing of Italian pictorial and sculpted works of the 20th century, conducted through the direct testimony of the artists or their heirs and the imposition of rigorous methodological criteria.
The project took on concrete form in 1969 with the publication of the volume Painting and sculpture of the 20th Century, 1894 - 1910 (edited by G. de Marchis, Rome 1969, reprinted 1981). Also in 1969 Dario Durbé began the scientific cataloguing of the 19th Century collection (painting, sculpture and graphics) through a systematic unearthing of documents, bibliographies, exhibitions, analysis of 19th century historic and critical sources, the editing of artists biographies and general bibliographies, all contributing, through his profile as a scholar of the artists of the Macchiaioli movement, to the critical re-evaluation of Italian art of the 19th century.
Gianna Piantoni, the director of the Catalogue Office since 1980, has marked a line of continuity with her predecessors in methodology of research which focuses on the objectivity of the data and the accurate assessment of historical and critical sources.
For Gianna Piantoni the cataloguing project leading to the publication of the general catalogue of 19th century painting has been an essential instrument of study for the museum collections and a support to the exhibition activity of the museum focusing on the Gallery's history and the crucial historical junctures of Italian art of the 19th and 20th centuries.
In collaboration with the ICCD, the Cataloguing Office of the Gallery has contributed to the publishing of OAC cataloguing guidelines, a specialized instrument for the cataloguing of contemporary works of art.