Medieval Universities and Archives

  • Luciana Duranti


The archives of medieval universities are sparse and fragmented, in sharp constract with the fact that these institutions were among the most regulated, structured, and stable of their time. This article, using examples of both universities of masters and universities of scholars, demonstrates that all medieval universities present siminar archival patterns, seeks the reasons for this in the juridical thinking of the period, and illustrates the way in which such thinking has influenced the formation of medieval archives.


Les archives des universités médiévales sont éparses et fragmentaires, contrastant ainsi avec le fait que ces institutions comptaient parmi les plus réglementées, les plus structurées et les plus stables de leur temps. Cet article, en utilisant des exemples tirés à la fois d'universités de maîtres et d'universités d'étudiants démontre que toutes les universités médiévales présentent des modèles archivistiques semblables, et tente d'expliquer ce fait par la pensée juridique de cette époque en illustrant la manière selon laquelle cette pensée a influencé la formation des archives médiévales.

Author Biography

Luciana Duranti
Luciana Duranti is Associate Professor in the Master of Archival Studies Programme (MAS) at the School of Library, Archival, and Information Studies, University of British Columbia, a position she has held since 1987. Prior to this, she was a Researcher Professor in the Special School for Archivists and Librarians at the University of Rome (1982-87); served as State Archivist in the State Archives of Rome (1978-1982); and was Project Archivist for the Italian National Research Council (1974-77). Professor Duranti holds a Doctorate in Arts (1973), a Master of Archival Science (1975) from the University of Rome, and a Master of Archivistics, Paleography, and Diplomatics from the School of Archivistics, Paleography, and Diplomatics of the State Archives of Rome (1979). In addition to her university responsibilities, she is active nationally and internationally in several archival associations, gives numerous papers and workshops in several countries, and publishes widely on archival history and theory, and on diplomatics.
How to Cite
Duranti, Luciana. 1994. “Medieval Universities and Archives”. Archivaria 38 (February), 37-44.