Social Life and Customs
Records of everyday life abound in the collection, from eighteenth-century royal courts to the period of unification in the mid-nineteenth century. Orders and decrees issued by the Duchy of Milan, for example, reveal customs on funerary dress or the use of public ovens. The collection contains many unique ephemeral items, including almanacs, yearbooks, and travel guides, that provide a snapshot of their times. Religious life is well documented in pilgrimage guides, liturgies and pastoral letters, prayers and programs for festivals, and rules for monasteries and convents. The births, marriages, and funerals of notable people are recorded in commemorative works, especially in the nineteenth century with “per le nozze” publications and epithalamia. Also notable in the collection are many records of mutual aid societies, almshouses, charities, orphanages, and learned institutions.