Historical documents and wedding contracts
Part of the archive is consecrated to ancient documents with historical importance and to religious wedding contracts (Ketubot).
The historical documents concerning the Jews’ rights date from 1570 to 1850 and are exposed in the ground floor of the archives. There are some official documents signed by the royal seal relating to the jobs that the Jews were permitted to do, the amnesty for some crimes that the Jews could commit (except setting on fire, organizing a rebellion, using false money and magic), the freedom for Jews to walk in the public roads during the “Saint Week” when the bells didn’t tall or the permission to celebrate religious ceremonies without being disturbed by non Jews.
Other documents concern the help that the community gave in 1892 to Palestine Jews and to Russian Jews, the Jewish emancipation or the permission from the duke of Gonzaga to create a Jewish cemetery in 1590.
These documents have a big historical importance especially in reason of the ducal and the royal seal that sign them, which remained intact during many centuries. Only a few documents are exposed in the archive, since many of them still haven’t been translated from Latin or haven’t been archived.
The Ketubot resulted generally from gifts. They were established in Casale or Alessandria during the last three centuries. The most ancient Ketubbah dates 1784 but the document exposed in museum is only a copy of it. The oldest exposed document is a Ketubah written in 1842. Many documents remain unexposed because they haven’t been classified yet or because they are too recent. The Ketubot are not only very important historical and genealogical documents for the Community, they are also unique artistic works, thanks to the drawings and the decorated writings which characterize them.