Historical ARchive of COsenza



ARCO is the historical archive concerning the geo-hydrological events that occurred in Calabria (south Italy) between 1850 and 1990. The archive is made of 506 folders. 45 folders contain projects of land reclamation, management works of fluvial basins and refunding requests carried out after earthquakes. 461 folders, sorted per municipality, contain refunding requests due to geo-hydrological events, communications between citizens and public agencies (Genio Civile, Provincia, Regione, Cassa per il Mezzogiorno, Provveditorato alle Opere Pubbliche), stabilisation works carried out with governmental funds, geological reports, and reports carried out after in situ surveys. The original documents came from the Archive of Genio Civile di Cosenza (1910-1980) and Calabria region (Ministero LLPP Ufficio di Catanzaro, Settore 32) (1960-1990). ARCO also contains entire or partial copies of the following archival funds: Genio Civile di Cosenza, Sezione Danni Alluvionali (1891-1977), Corpo degli Ingegneri di Acque e Strade (1808-1866), Intendenza di Calabria Citeriore (1915-1862), Prefettura di Cosenza (1861-1979), Prefettura di Catanzaro, serie Affari Speciali dei Comuni (1861-1959). ARCO mainly contains documents but several pictures, geological maps, projects, and drawings, enriched the available documentation.


ARCO is publically accessible, upon agreement and with the assistance of IRPI staff. By using ARCO documents and historical data coming from other data sources (newspapers collections, historical and scientific literature), the staff managing ARCO can perform research at local, municipal and regional scale aiming to obtain the historical series of geo-hydrological phenomena that affected a select Calabrian sector. Users of ARCO can be researchers, technicians, freelances, school classes, and museums interested in organising documental exhibitions.

Methods and technologies

The documents safeguarded in ARCO were assembled between 2000 and 2005; in the following two years the documents were organised by province, municipality and in chronological order. Part of the documents was given to IRPI from Public Agencies and according to the permission of regional Archival Superintendence. Other documents are total or partial copies of archival funds safeguarded by Calabrian State Archives. In 2014, the staff started a project aiming to realise a web digital version of ARCO. Currently, data concerning 21 municipalities of Catanzaro province have been scanned and classified and can be consulted in the ARCO office, Via Cavour 4-6, Rende (Cosenza).


ARCO participated to several research projects and consultancy activities; his staff produced historical surveys on behalf of local and national agencies, as i.e. Calabria Region and the national department of Civil Protection. The historical series of damaging geo-hydrological events that occurred in Calabria between 1980 and 2010 has been published in the database of floods in Mediterranean environment of the HyMeX project (Hydrological Cycle in Mediterranean Experiment). Catalogues of landslides and floods that affected Cosenza province between the end of XIX century and 1960 have been realised using ARCO data, and they are available here.
arco-frane-alluvioni-cosenza-900-1 arco-frane-alluvioni-cosenza-1930-1950-2 arco-frane-alluvioni-cosenza-1951-1960-3 arco-difesa-suolo-800-mezzogiorno-4
Frane e alluvioni in provincia di Cosenza agli inizi del '900 Frane e alluvioni in provincia di Cosenza tra il 1930 e il 1950 Frane e alluvioni in provincia di Cosenza tra il 1951 e il 1960 La difesa del suolo nell'Ottocento nel mezzogiorno d'Italia