Historical Archive of Siena
The Palazzo del Rettorato is the heart of the University of Siena and inside there is the historical museum itinerary which brings together works of art, objects and documents that represent the historical memory of the University. From the Middle Ages to 1808 the University's activity took place, substantially without interruptions, in the ancient Casa della Sapienza and in the Hospital of Santa Maria della Scala. In 1808, by order of the French government, the Sienese studio was suppressed to resume its full activity only with the Restoration. It was on this occasion, in 1816, that the University moved to its current location, formerly a Jesuit college of San Vigilio.
The building originally had only one entrance, next to the church of San Vigilio, but in 1892 the architect Giuseppe Partini created the new entrance from via Banchi di Sotto and gave the courtyard its current appearance.
Crossing the threshold today, you have the opportunity to make a sort of journey through the history of the University from the Middle Ages to the present day through a series of testimonies, exhibited in special display cases or preserved in the Historical Archive, which constitute a chronologically articulated path in six rooms.
The Historical Archive preserves the documentation produced and acquired by the University from 1560 to 1955 which allows to understand the development of the University in this period of time and to reconstruct the biographies of the main characters who taught or studied there. The archive is part of a "historical path" made up of a series of objects and documents that mark the main episodes in the life of the university.