The Diocesan Historical Archive, declared of considerable historical interest on 30 September 1997, preserves and enhances the historical archives of the Diocese of Reggio Calabria- Bova.
The archive, as Mgr Nicola Ferrante wrote in a manuscript that remained unpublished, was “largely depleted” for natural disasters, confiscation and neglect since 1594 when the fire of the Cathedral and Episcopal Bishops provoked a documentary void of eleven centuries, from the fourth to the fifteenth century. The oldest documents are parchments that began in 1495 and pastoral visits by Monsignor D’ Afflitto from 1595. There are gaps and uncertainties in the news about the Bishops of the early centuries; the series of Pastoral Visits, the Metropolitan Chapter, the Latin Community, the Seminary, the Archiepiscopal Canteen, the funds of the Parishes with documents mainly from the nineteenth century, the Inter-Diocesan Opera for the reconstruction of churches after the earthquake of 1908, the acts of the Curia, among which there are the trial marriages
On 30 September 1986, with the decree Instantibus votis of the Congregation for Bishops, the two venues of Reggio Calabria and Bova were united with the formula plena unione and the new ecclesiastical circumscription took its present name, consequently the historical archive of the diocese of Bova was merged into that of Reggio.
The archivists who have succeeded each other in recent years, Msgr. Rocco Bevacqua and Msgr. Nicola Ferrante, have worked to preserve the remaining documents from further dispersion and damage and to enhance and disseminate the preserved heritage. Bevacqua, among the various protective activities, managed to retrieve and concentrate in the archive all the documents relating to Msgr. Montalbetti, today the subject of analysis and study for the diocesan process of beatification. Monsignor Ferrante, who worked in various cultural fields, as a teacher of Religion in the High Schools and teacher of Patrology and History of the Reggina Church at the Archiepiscopal Seminary “Pius XI” and the Superior Institute of Religious Sciences of Reggio Calabria, has made a significant contribution to disseminating and enhancing the preserved heritage with the publication of works and essays.
In recent years, the archive’s activity has been mainly oriented towards computerized inventory, digitisation and publication on online portals of the archival collections preserved for greater protection, dissemination and enhancement of the cultural heritage. The parchments are published on the portal “Monasterium. net” and the archival funds are included in the CEIar software provided by the Italian Episcopal Conference. The registers of the parishes of the Archdiocese of Reggio Calabria-Bova have been digitized.