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Grenzakten: papers and documents concerning the borders of the Empire
Principal investigator: Katia Occhi
Research assistant: Rossella Ioppi
The projects “The Tridentine Acts” and “Fragments from the episcopal principate archive” research projects of recent years have made it possible to clarify the complex events that followed removal of most of the materials of the episcopal archive of Trento from their original place of production in consequence of the secularization of the empire’s ecclesiastical principalities in 1803.
At the end of the First World War, the documentation that had been sent to Austria (Innsbruck and Vienna) was returned to Italy under the provisions of the Treaty of Saint Germain, which sanctioned the annexation of Trentino to the Kingdom of Italy. The broad array of documents consigned to the State Archives of Trent included the “Atti dei confini”, originally placed in the “Ältere Grenzakten” in the Statthaltereiarchiv of Innsbruck, which were separated according to the principle of territorial relevance, not of provenance. This probably happened on the occasion of reconsignment of materials relative to Trentino, those of the territories of the former ecclesiastical principality and those of the Tyrolean jurisdictions, the so-called “Confini italiani”, incorporated into the Tyrol Kronland in the nineteenth century.
Today the documents are contained in 37 packages divided between two groups. The first contains older documentation from between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries; the second, documents from between 1707 and 1912. The materials usually consist of correspondence, memorials, proclamations, protests, reports by functionaries of the Tyrolean and Austrian government and those of adjoining states - especially the Venetian Republic – in regard to the borders of Valsugana, Tesino and Primiero, Folgaria, Vallarsa and Terragnolo, Vallagarina, Lake Garda, Val di Ledro and delle Chiese, Val di Sole, Val Rendena and Val di Fassa.
The project will catalogue this corpus, which to date has not been reorganized and inventoried, and whose instruments are outdated. A study will be conducted on the reconsignment and the selection work by officials serving in the Austrian and Italian archives. Examined in detail will be the conservation units, the purpose being to specify the types of documents in the “Atti dei confini” and to identify their producers. Upon completion of this work, an inventory will be compiled and stored in the Archivi Storici del Trentino database.