SAN: National Archive System

An information system for the acquisition, management and publication of archive information and digital items associated with archive resources of the State, religious associations and private bodies.

The main aim of SAN, a system developed for the State General Archive Department (MiBAC), is to widen knowledge of the archives - in the historical context in which they are formed - the places of preservation, the access and consultation modes. Several portals are managed within SAN, which are specializations of certain topics.

SAN offers and access point to information about the Italian archive assets coming from other adhering archive description systems. The exchange takes place according to preset tracks or using the OAI-PMH standard (The Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting).

SAN's main goal is to spread knowledge of this asset, with a role of integration and rationalization of information.


SAN allows access to several thematic sites, many of which Engineering has realized, including the following:

  • Rete degli Archivi per non dimenticare
  • Archivi di Impresa
  • Archivi degli Architetti
  • Archivi della Musica del ‘900.

Before SAN, the archive information was cataloged in various systems, also in duplicate, without any centralization. SAN has allowed rationalization, obtaining a clear benefit of homogenization.

Also, the Italian archive culture has become better known via SAN and the thematic websites: the vast non-specialized public has been able to access archive pictures of great historical prestige, from ancient scrolls to more recent historical items, such as the letters written by Aldo Moro during his imprisonment.