Barilla historical archive

error while rendering
Mantova - 166 - Parma - PR
Phone: +39 0521262944 Fax: +39 0521263053

You can visit the Archive only on appointment you can require by calling the Supervisor or sending him an e-mail.


The Historical archive was created in 1987, on the will of the Barilla Head office, in order to collect, preserve and increase the value of the historical documentation produced by the factory and the one found in other archives, public and private. It allows anyone who wants to, to relive the history, activity, communication strategy and advertising of the brand, through more than a century of life. A history that intertwines with the city and more in general with the evolution of the social and economical history of the Country.

Documents tell the history of the factory since 1877, with a particular attention on the period between 1908/10 and today.
Besides the Barilla documentation, the Historical Archive includes documents of other factories that joined the Barilla group in the 70s:

  • Braibanti, founded in Parma by Eng. Ennio Braibanti in 1870
  • Mulino Bianco, created in 1975
  • Pavesi, opened in 1940 in Novara by Mario Pavesi
  • Voiello, opened in Torre Annunziata on the will of Teodoro Voiello in 1879.

On the 30th of November 1998, the Ministry of Heritage and Culture, declared the archive Barilla historically noteworthy, since it's a testimony of the industrial and food development and costum of Italy.

The Historical archive Barilla includes:

The archive.
Thousands of pamphlets classified by a thesaurus of keywords.

The library.

Besides books in which Barilla is quoted, from the second half of the 19th century to nowadays, there are texts about wheat and cereals farming, grinding and mills, flour processing, bread, pasta, biscuits and food, as well as about the factories history since 1887.

Newspaper and periodical library.
Complete collection of the factory house organs, from the bulletins of the 60s to the actual Gente Barilla, of Natura Amica, a pamphlet sent from 1982 to 1995 to all the customers interested to Barilla promotions, and the Linea Bianca, the mean of communication with the sales network from 1970 till now, some advertising magazines, marketing and communication of local interest.


Visual remains in film or magnetic tape about the activities and life of the factory: visits, meetings, conferences, conventions, promotions, openings. It's a collection of films starring the pasta. From 1977 on.

Photo library.

The entire photo collection about the factory, from 1913 until today.

Film library.
Audio remains, interviews, tapes, records about the life of the factory. From 1958 on.
In total 30.394 documents gathered in an automatic catalogue on a pc: research is possible by title of the document, by author, by category, by keyword and date. Added to these there are specific accesses for the verious categories as following:

Complete collection of Barilla budgets since 1962.

A significative collection of promotional calendars printed by Barilla in the 10s until the second world war. They feature famous illustrators as Erberto Carboni and Emma Bonazzi, Adolfo Busi and Luciano Bonacini.

Promotional cards realized by the factory in the first 10 years of the 20th century till today and a rich collection of over 500 pieces about wheat, bread,  pasta and pasta factories.


Sale catalogues for the pasta (from 1916 until today) and the brand Mulino Bianco (since 1975).


Starting from 1916 for Barilla and from 1975 for Mulino Bianco. In a chronological order, the pasta packaging, Barilla products and Mulino Bianco products by type.

Barilla family.
Pictures and documents  about the hsitory, alla genealogy, characters and activities of the family members, from Ovidius, baker in the 16th century, to Guido, President of the company now.


Found and restored: a stone mill of the 19th century; a complete cycle pasta maker; some peasants' toolsuna used in the wheat cycle; some tools for panification and production of pasta in the 19th and 20th centuries.


Since 1914 all the advertising on magazines and newspapers of the Barilla brands, Mulino Bianco and Pavesi.
From the posters in the window shops of the 20s to the modern ones, over 150 posters to relive the graphic history of the brandsBarilla and Mulino Bianco.
Radio advertising from Barilla and Mulino Bianco, in chronological order since 1968 and available on different kind of professional support, from magnetic tape to Dat.
Cinema – TV.
Advertising movies made for cinemas in the 50s and over 600 ads for tv from 1958 until today. The serie is available on Beta, U-Matic and VHS (until 1980 also on original 35 mm films). These ads feature famous directors as Valerio Zurlini, Piero Gherardi, Antonello Falqui, Richard Lester, Mauro Bolognini, Enzo Trapani, Federico Fellini, Nikita Michalkov, David Lynch, Ridley Scott, Vittorio Storaro and Giuseppe Tornatore.
Dépliant and promotional prints created to present new products or to support sale campaigns from 1910 until today for Barilla and, since 1975, for Mulino Bianco.
Material for shops.
Posters, banners for counters and shelves, decalcomanias and other objects to expose products in the shops.
Since the 30a the factory starts to award faithful customers with promotional objects. With the Mulino Bianco brand and the launch of the Coccio, promotion became a big affair for the factory history. The archive has a collection of the objects that, year after year, arrived in the houses of millions of families, spreading the Barilla name: from the over 700 different Mulino Bianco surprises, to plates, cutlery, little objects that the Barilla, Mulino Bianco and Pavesi brands offered since 1996.
A wide collection of printed stuff - envelopes, forms, headed letters, receipts and papers in general – produced since 1909 – that show the evolution of the factory brand.
Many prized and honours received by Barilla and its owners along the years, since 1908, date of the first golden plaque received at the International exhibition in Rome.
Press release.
Collection of periodical and daily articles, italian and foreign, about the company from 1911 until today.
Recipes books.
All the printed recipes produced since the first year after the world war. Since the 30s Barilla published recipes collections to promote the gastronomic culture of the pasta, but since 1945 this form of communication becomes very important, especially for the market abroad.

Collections are constantly enriched by donations, acquisitions and the documents of the new activities of the company.
The access to this archive is available except the Presidency fund, that can be looked up only until the year 1993, year of Pietro Barilla's death.

Access conditions:
The access usually available  for researchers, teachers, university and high school students. Groups are welcome up to 15/20 people, it is possioble to have a guided tour.

call for an appointment.
Written request, also by fax or e-mail, with personal information, a telephone number and the research you wish to make.

Consultation only at the archive, loan is not allowed.

Electronic research of the documentation.

University thesis: written request - by mail or fax - with personal information, a telephone number, name of the thesis' supervisor, title and subject.
It's enough to print the request on the University's headed letter and fill the form. Fotocopies can be made at the archive.

Photo prints (5 days)

Copies of films VHS, U-Matic, Beta, Digitale (5 days)

The Archive collaborates with other institutions for cultural events and activities of study and research.

Last update: