The documents kept in the Record Office can be freely consulted, in line with art. 122, Title II, Item III of the Cultural Heritage and Landscape Code (Legislative Decree no. 42 of 22 January 2004).

The following exceptions apply:

  • Documents of a confidential nature regarding State internal and foreign policy, which become freely available for consultation 50 years after their date.

  • Documents containing “sensitive” information about private individuals (i.e. details that can be used to reveal racial and ethnic origins, religious, philosophical and political convictions, and membership of associations, parties and unions), only for the last 40 years (art. 22 of Law no. 675 of 31 Dec. 1996).

  • Documents regarding state of health, sexual habits and private family relationships, within a limit of 70 years.

  • Criminal sentences that have become final and are listed in the Judicial Register. These can be consulted after 40 years (art. 24 of Law no. 675 of 31 Dec. 1996).

  • The State’s Civil Birth and Death Registers can be consulted 70 years after their date, while there are no limitations for Weddings, as they do not contain comments requiring protection in accordance with Law no. 675/96.

As per art. 123 paragraph 1, Title II, Item III of the Code, it is possible for authorization to be given ahead of the allotted times for consultation for historical purposes and research concerning documents of a confidential nature.

Scholars must hand over a request to the Manager of the Record Office, along with a research project description that illustrates the aims and means of data disclosure and a signed copy of the "Code of good practice and conduct when processing personal data for historical purposes" for information. The applicant may also present any other useful documents. All of the paperwork will be sent to the Record Offices Department of the Italian Ministry of the Interior, which will set up a special committee to pass judgement on the matter. The authorization request may be fully accepted, partially accepted with certain restrictions, or rejected (section 10 of the Code of Good Practice). The scholar’s responsibility regarding the disclosure of the data will remain unchanged regardless of the outcome.

The Management may temporarily prevent consultation of documents that are in a condition which makes this measure necessary.