The Archives of Casa Sales at Erice

NEW: Digital Images of another 49 Volumes!

Recently, another 49 volumes have been photographed, resulting in the availability of more than 7,000 new images. This brings the total number of photographed volumes to 148, with 17,557 images now available online.
Click here for more details.

Search the Wedding Records

A recently-added feature now allows many Wedding records to be searched by date and name.
Click here to see how.

The Archives

The historical archives of all the parishes of Erice are housed at 'Casa Sales', close to the church of San Cataldo. They are stored in collections called "volumes", of which there are about 1000. The earliest are from about the year 1400. The data in the volumes ranges from pure administrative data, to inheritances and wills, to official parish records - Baptisms, Confirmations, Weddings, Burials and Census returns, collectively known as the 'Quinque Libri'. As of today, about 100 of these kinds of volumes have been photographed for Erice and may be viewed online.

Following the 'Council of Trent' in 1563, all parishes were required to record Baptisms and Weddings, but in Erice the churches of S.Cataldo and the Matrice were already doing his before this edict, and by 1579 all 4 parishes of Erice were registering Baptisms and 3 were registering Weddings. In 1614 it also became obligatory to record Burials but the main parishes of S.Cataldo and Matrice were already registering these by 1591. For the year 1600, 24 volumes are available in the 'Casa Sales' archives covering the Quinque Libri, while 25 different volumes cover them in 1650. Confirmations started being recorded in Erice in 1668, while Census returns started in 1734.

The archives of Casa Sales are thus of great historical relevance.

Preservation

The decision to photograph the volumes was taken due to the precarious state of conservation of some of the original documents. This will allow online consultancy of their records and avoid inadvertently damaging the originals. The intent is to photograph all 'Quinque Libri' volumes within the next period.


The "Matrice", the main church

The church of San Antonio

The church of San Cataldo

The church of San Giuliano

How to View the Data

The photographed records from the archives are copyrighted, and to access them online, it is first necessary to register on the site. A full name, user name, password and e-mail address must be provided. The system will then send an e-mail to the user with a link to "activate" his/her account. When registering, the user explicitly accepts the terms of use of the site, which specify that any images that are viewed cannot be used for commercial purposes. They are only for personal use.

After activating the account, the user can login to the archives and search using "type" of record (e.g. baptism, wedding, death, etc), the "church" involved (e.g. Matrice, San Antonio, San Cataldo, San Giuliano, etc), the "date" and the number of the "volume" (if known). Any combination of these parameters can be used. It is also possible to not specify anything and simply to scroll through the list describing the volumes.

About 100 volumes have been completely photographed, resulting in some 10,000 images, all of which can be viewed. To see which volumes have been photographed, login, then press the "All Photos" button. After searching, a summary of available photos will be shown in a table on the right-hand side of the screen. Links are provided to a selection of photos within the volume. To see a photo, press the yellow "Show Photos" button.

Click here for more details.

View from Archive

Dr Tonina Scuderi

Archive I

Archive II