The Archives of the Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo di Milano preserve, in the wills and donations section, the final wishes of those who generously bequeathed their property, fully or in part, to the construction of the Cathedral (at first), and to its restoration in the centuries to come. In addition to being a testament to the population’s participation in the construction of their cathedral, the collection of wills is an interesting excursus on how penmanship has evolved over time.
The deliberate penmanship of the late 14th century, which continued throughout all of the 15th century, gradually gave way to a much more cursive style which at times, especially in the 16th century, challenges even the most qualified experts.
Not only a history of art and architecture therefore, but, with documents spanning more than six centuries, the Archives of the Veneranda Fabbrica also make it possible for those who are interested to investigate every aspect of the lives which day after day developed in the shadow of the Duomo di Milano.
The Archives of the Veneranda Fabbrica are indeed the diary of the city and of those residents of Milan who have chosen to carve their names into the marble, joining the still active registry of donors that now also lists the names of those who have contributed to the “Get Your Spire. Carve your name in history” fund raiser.