The Historical Archive currently consists of 7 fonds (Atti Dovuti, Direzione Generale, Direzione Commerciale, Personale, Produzione e Progettazione, Iconografico, Lanzara) and 10 archives (Gilera, OMAO – Officine Macchine Africa Orientale, SARPI-Società Agenzie Rappresentanze Prodotti Industriali, Lanzara Donazione, Confindustria, Gilberto Filippetti, Marco Stilci, Tommaso Fanfani, Donazioni, Fonti Orali), for a total of almost 5,000 bundles.
Of particular interest to people wishing to learn more about the company since the Second World War, the Francesco Lanzara Fond (1922-1987) was built up over more than 30 years (1946-1979) by the manager of the Piaggio factory in Pontedera.
The Direzione Generale (General Management) Fond (1916-1987) and the Atti Dovuti (Legal Acts) Fond (1882-1992) are more directly concerned with the corporate changes at Piaggio. They contain the material “typical” of company archives: by-laws, AGM minutes, shareholder registers, administrative records, letter books and registers relating to activities performed directly by the secretariats of the chairmen and CEOs, including reports on war damage and relations with ministries, banks, dealers and branch offices.
The Personale (Personnel) Fond (1920-1987) contains more than 25,000 binders of material concerning social activities, training and selection, personnel organisation and administration, as well as the salary records and personal data of thousands of office and factory workers.
The Produzione e Progettazione (Production & Design) Fond (1884-2003) contains technical material on registration data, type approvals and production and investment programs. Since 2006 it has been gradually supplemented with material from the 800,000 technical drawings of the Piaggio Technical Division, some of which (approximately 7,000) were notified by the Tuscany Archive Superintendency.
An extremely rich source for study of Vespa (and other) advertising communication is the Direzione Commerciale (Sales & Marketing Division) Fond (1929-2005), flanked by the archives of Gilberto Filippetti (art director of the Leader advertising agency, which worked for Piaggio from 1966 to the early 1990s) and Marco Stilci (an advertising photographer who worked with Piaggio from the mid-1908s until the early 2000s). Many cinema and TV commercials are included in the Audiovisuals series in the Iconografico (Iconography) Fond: a selection of auteur videos (from Luciano Emmer to Tinto Brass, and not forgetting the hugely popular “Caroselli”) has been restored and digitised by the Centro Multimediale del Cinema (Viareggio) and may be seen on the web channel www.cinemaimpresa.tv.
The Photography series in the Iconografico (Iconography) Fond contains a wealth of images and photographs from the 1930s through to the 2000s, now being digitised.
The Gilera archive (1931-2006) is a real corporate archive on the historic motorcycle constructor established in Arcore in 1909 by Giuseppe Gilera and acquired by the Piaggio Group in 1969. The same is true of the OMAO – Officine Macchine Africa Orientale (1936-1966) archive on the company established by Piaggio in Ethiopia in 1937 to build and repair aircraft, rail, road and tram stock.