What the Archive holds


It contains the entire photographic corpus of the Barilla Company since 1913. The “historical” Image bank (1913-1945) is peculiar for an accurate duplication of its original photographs, which are then made available in different formats.
The photographs since World War II have been ordered chronologically, with the exception of certain particular funds.
The Bruno Vaghi Fund is named after a well-known photographer who worked in Parma from the start of the 20th century, and contains thousands of photographs taken in the 1950s and 1960s when the three Barilla factories were being built in Parma, Rubbiano and Pedrignano.
The Aldo Ballo Fund contains the pictures taken by this famous Milanese photographer between 1952 and 1960 for the Barilla advertising campaigns conceived by Erberto Carboni.
The Piero Pascuttini Fund includes ten services by the Roman photographer, which were taken on the set of the Barilla advertisings in the Carosello programs. These were the advertisings featuring Mina and directed by Piero Gherardi in 1967.
The Vetrine Fund contains photographs from around Italy taken by different photographers that document the shop-window promotions set up by Barilla from the 1930s to the 1960s.
In addition, there is a photographic collection relating to the Barilla recreation center for workers (the Company Cral).
There are also photographic funds about Braibanti (pasta production, advertising, events), Mulino Bianco (products and advertising), Pavesi (biscuit production, products, advertising and Pavesi Autogrill), and Voiello (pasta production, advertising and events).


This is the collection of articles from the daily and periodical press, both in Italy and abroad, that relates to the Barilla Group and its brands. Over 25,000 articles are collected from 1908 to 2014 and are ordered chronologically in more than 200 volumes.


This is a small but specialized library that deals with local history, the cultivation of wheat and other cereals, milling and the mills themselves, including a series of works on the history of the most important Italian companies and the history of advertising; the records date from the mid-19th century to the modern day.


Audio recordings, interviews, records and discs that relate to the life and activity of the company.


Visual records on tape or film of events or company life: visits, meetings, conferences, conventions, promotional activities, inaugurations. In 2017 the digitalization of this fund started.


The complete collection of periodicals published inside the Company, from the ‘House Organ’ in the 1960s to the current “Gente Barilla” received at the homes of all employees. There is also the complete collection of “Natura Amica”, a sheet sent out from 1982 to 1995 to all consumers interested in Barilla promotions.

Other publications are “Linea Bianca” (1970-today), which is an important means of communication with the sales network by which it’s possible to recall the Company commercial history, as well many advertising, marketing, communications and local interest publications.


This section of the archive stores the sales catalogues of the Barilla pasta lines since 1916 and of Braibanti brands (1920-1990), Mulino Bianco (since 1975), Pavesi (since 1949) and Voiello (since 1916). They are relevant for the study of packaging, of the design of the pasta shapes and the evolution of commercial graphics.


Over the years, Barilla or its owners have received many awards (more than 300). This category of the archive has a collection of the prizes, parchments, diplomas and trophies since 1908, date of the first golden plate handed out at the International Exhibition in Rome.


The complete collection of the company financial reports since 1962, the year the company was transformed into an S.p.A. [public limited company]. It includes the years 1970-1978, when it belonged to Grace, and those of Pavesi from 1953 to 1992.


For internal training needs and external teaching requirements, the Hisotrical Archive has been fitted out with a series of objects, machines and documents that tell the history of pasta and the company’s communications.
Since 2014 a huge part of the material contained in this fund has been moved to the Pasta Museum, set up at the Corte di Giarola in Collecchio (Parma) that is part of the Food Museums of the province of Parma: https://pasta.museidelcibo.it
A millstone, a rolling mill, a 19th century complete cycle pasta production line (grinding wheel, dough mixer, homogenizer, vertical press, horizontal press, pasta cutter, extruders and driers), a series of farming implements used in the cultivation of wheat (plough, seeder, mower, thresher) and a series of tools used for making bread in the 19th and 20th centuries.


The current collection includes in chronological order the packs for Barilla products (since 1916), and those of Mulino Bianco (since 1975) and Pavesi (since 1949). The more than 350 volumes are backed up by wide-ranging digital photographic records, both in high resolution and web version, of the packaging and its evolution, as well as studies made for specific projects.


The Archive contains several hundred folders of documents ordered by keywords.

The more important bundles are:
– copies of the letters written by Pietro Barilla from 1936 to 1993, which provides an extraordinary cross-section of the range of social, economic and cultural activities with which he was discreetly but enthusiastically involved;
– the historical and iconographic records of Mills, Bread, Bakery Plants, Pasta, Pasta Plants, authors of Barilla advertisements, building licenses (with original plans by famous architects for the factory, offices and Barilla shops), logos and trademarks, examples of sponsorship, and drawings representing lines, products and packaging.
– the Barilla Center for Food and Nutrition (BCFN) publications.


Two distinct series of promotional postcards produced by Barilla since 1910, plus a collection of more than 500 that deal with the topics of wheat, bread, pasta and pasta plants.


A collection of extruders in special containers has been made for all the different pasta shapes produced by Barilla and Voiello (including the famous ‘Marille’ designed by Giugiaro) as well as certain experimental designs that never reached the market but which are interesting from a technical point of view.


Newspapers and periodicals

All the press advertisements of the Barilla, Mulino Bianco, Pavesi and Voiello brands since 1914 (in over 90 volumes).


More than 150 posters printed for shop-windows and shop interiors since the 1920s that aid in studying the evolution of graphics for the Barilla, Braibanti, Mulino Bianco, Pavesi and Voiello brands.


Recordings of radio advertisings, recovered from the archives of advertising Agencies or producers; they have been ordered chronologically since 1968 for the Barilla and Mulino Bianco brands and are available digitally.

Cinema and television

The collections, completed with the material available, include advertising films, which were projected in cinemas in the 1950s, and more than 800 television advertisements, including Carosello programs, broadcasted between 1957 and today. The advertisings are divided according to the brand (Barilla, Mulino Bianco, Pavesi and Voiello), ordered chronologically and available on tape or in digital format. The original 35 mm film tapes recorded for Barilla between 1958 and 1980 have been conserved as well.
There are advertisings released by famous artists and directors, including cartoons by Gianini, Luzzati and Biassoni, puppet shows by Maria Perego, sketches by Walter Chiari, Dario Fo and Giorgio Albertazzi, the songs of Mina directed by Valerio Zurlini, Piero Gherardi and Antonello Falqui, the songs of Massimo Ranieri in the loveliest city squares in Italy directed by Richard Lester and Mauro Bolognini, the musical films by Enzo Trapani, and the more recent advertisings directed by Federico Fellini, Michalkov, Lynch, Miller, Scott, Storaro, Tornatore, Magrì and Wim Wenders.
There are also advertising spots with testimonial of deep influence both in sports and artistic environment, Alberto Tomba, Steffi Graf, Stefan Edberg, to Roger Federer for the sports part and singers such as Placido Domingo, actors like Gerard Depardieu, Antonio Banderas, Pierfrancesco Favino for the artistic part.


Since the 1930s, the company had begun to “award” loyal consumers with promotional objects linked to the product. However, with the creation of Mulino Bianco and the launch of the famous “Coccio”, the promotion took on a particularly important role in the Company history. This collection conserves the objects that, year after year, entered the houses of millions of families taking the images of the Barilla, Mulino Bianco, Pavesi and Voiello brands everywhere. There are more than 700 small Mulino Bianco games for children, plates, furnishings and objects that the company continued to offer until 1996. Many of these – designed or created exclusively – are compared with prototypes and tested versions, and are important for the study of design and communication techniques.
The collection of the promotional items is updated until the current days for Barilla, Mulino Bianco, Pavesi and Voiello brands.


Brochures and leaflets that present new products or which support sales campaigns or new advertising campaigns: since 1910 for Barilla and 1975 for Mulino Bianco.

Sales Point Materials

An endless supply of posters, counters, shelf and window announcements, etc., used in sales outlets, whether small shops or supermarkets. Over 20 volumes of announcements from Barilla (since 1910), Mulino Bianco (1975) and Pavesi (1950).


Deeply remarkable from a quality point of view the small series of promotional calendars printed by Barilla from the 1910s to World War II, and by Braibanti in the 1950s and 1960s.
Some of the famous illustrators who contributed to the calendars with colourful pictures of plump children and cheerful women either about to eat or serve steaming plates of spaghetti were Erberto Carboni, Emma Bonazzi, Adolfo Busi, Raoul Allegri, Luciano Bonacini and Gian Rossetti.

Recipe books

From the 1930s Barilla produced recipe books to spread and promote the culture of cooking pasta dishes. Since the end of  the World War II, and in particular for the international market, this form of communication has become strategic. The collection includes recipes both handwritten and printed from as early as the immediate post-war period.


Collections of archive administration documents ordered chronologically.


A huge series of printed materials like envelopes, forms, headed letter-paper, invoices, bills of exchange, sheets and files, all of which are characterized by the presence of the corporate logo and name so that the evolution of its design can be studied.