by Laura GIACALONE
The Medici Granducal Archive (Mediceo del Principato)
For over two centuries, the Medici family ruled Tuscany as sovereign Grand Dukes. Their archival collection – called the Mediceo del Principato – has survived virtually intact in the State Archive in Florence (Archivio di Stato di Firenze). It covers the chronological span of their rule: from the moment Cosimo I became Duke of Florence in 1537 to the death in 1743 of Anna Maria Luisa de’ Medici, sister of Gian Gastone, the last of the Medici Grand Dukes. In other words, it begins with Michelangelo’s work on the Last Judgment and ends with the birth of Thomas Jefferson.