Fonds HR-DADU-09 - Diversa Notariae (Various documents of the Public Notary)

Identity area

Reference code



Diversa Notariae (Various documents of the Public Notary)


  • 1310-1320, 1324-1330, 1339-1341, 1352-1358, 1362-1369, 1387-1391, 1402-1462, 1485-1530, 1533-1559, 1563-1683, 1687-1811 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

147 volumes; 13 linear metres; textual records

Context area

Name of creator

Archival history

Until the 13th century, public notaries were private persons (Dubrovnik priests) who were recognized by the public as having legal and credible authority. The public notary office was established in 1278, when an Italian Tomasino de Savere was employed as the public notary. From that moment on, the Republic began to continuously store notarial books and documents and that lasted until the fall of the Republic in 1808. During the 15th century, the authorities of the Republic made several key decisions on the organization of the central administration of the Republic, the offices of which were in the Rector's Palace. Based on the decisions made, the central administration consisted of the following offices: The Public Notary (legal private affairs), the State Chancellery (legal public affairs), the Judicial Chancellery (criminal justice affairs), the Office of the State Secretary (legal state affairs) and the Slavic Chancellery, which would eventually be transformed into the Turkish Chancellery. Nevertheless, the responsibilities of some of these offices, continued to overlap. This is the reason why the notarial books that belong to this fonds cannot be strictly separated from the books from the fonds Diversa Cancellariae, which were kept by the chancellors of the Republic. Both fonds consist of the same types of contracts, the only difference being the format in which these documents and files were registered.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

The fonds has been linked to the archive since its inception. In times of the Dubrovnik Republic, the books of the fonds were stored in the Rector's Palace. They remained in the Rector’s Palace after the fall of the Republic (1808). The archives were consolidated and were made available to researchers in 1891. The archive in the Rector's Palace has been functioning as an independent institution since 1920, and it was dislocated to the Sponza Palace in 1952, where it is still located today.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

The fonds provides general information on political, economic, cultural, public, and private life in the Republic for the period from the beginning of the 14th to the beginning of the 19th century. According to the division of administrative affairs, notaries recorded private-law contracts, such as debit notes, dowry contracts, purchase contracts, powers of attorney, wills, agrarian contracts. However, the fonds also contains documents of a public-legal character for which the Chancellery was in charge.

The fonds is very important for the research of the history of the Jewish people. It provides data on business and private connections of Jews in Europe, mostly southeast, then North Africa and the Middle East, in the period from the 15th to the beginning of the 19th century. The earliest references are from the beginning of the 15th century. For example, in 1405, Simon, a coral merchant, son of Isaac of Marseille, was referenced as one of the first, perhaps even the first Jew to live in Dubrovnik for several years (vol. 11, f. 116). Among the most important documents in the fonds, four contracts can be found in which Gracia Mendes terminated business relations with her Italian partners. In 1552, Mendes had these contracts registered with the Dubrovnik Public Notary Office. These are the only documents that can serve as a proof that she stopped in Dubrovnik on her way to Istanbul (vol. 112, ff. 90-91v, 93v-94v). Until her death, her representative in Dubrovnik was Isac Ergas, so he himself, as well as some members of his family, were referenced several times in the books of this fonds. The data on other well-known figures of that time such as Daniel Rodrigues, Solomon Ascenasi, Solomon Oef (Ohev), Aaron Coen, David Pass (Passo), Abraham and Jacob Coen de Hererra. Many members of large Dubrovnik Jewish families of Ambonetti, Campos, Fermo, Levi Mandolfo, Luzzena, Maestro, Pardo, Russo, Terni, Tolentino, Valenzin, Vitali are also frequently referenced. In addition, there are many references to Jews who either stayed in Dubrovnik for a very short time, or who only passed through it. Some of them never actually came to Dubrovnik but did business through Dubrovnik with the help of their intermediaries. Overall, the fonds preserves sales contracts, powers of attorney, debt contracts, maritime insurance contracts, receipts and disbursements, waivers of inheritance rights, exercise of rights acquired by will, settlement of trade and other disputes in which Jews also appear as both: parties to the dispute and as arbitrators. Only one will is registered in the fonds, and it was composed by the Benevenisti Nasci, who was sentenced to death in 1571 for the murder of Menachem Maraz (vol. 118 ff. 114-115). Italian translations of two ketubahs made in Dubrovnik in 1763 and 1769 were also registered in notarial books 25 years later (vol. 146, ff. 28-29, 81v-83v).

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

The fonds is fully accessible to researchers in accordance with the Ordinance on the work in the reading room of the State Archives in Dubrovnik and the Law on Archival Materials and Archives NN 61/18 (Pravilnik o radu u čitaonici Državnog arhiva u Dubrovniku and Zakon o arhivskom gradivu i arhivima NN 61/18).

Conditions governing reproduction

Taking photographs and scanning are allowed, for a fee.

Language of material

  • Italian
  • Latin

Script of material

  • Latin

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Parchment. The archival material is well preserved.

Finding aids

Građa za generalni katalog Državnog arhiva u Dubrovniku, box 13, folder 1. Josip Gelčić, »Catalogus i. r. Archivii Ragusini.« Glasnik Zemaljskog muzeja u Bosni i Hercegovini 22 (1910): 537-588.

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

State Archives in Dubrovnik

Existence and location of copies

The fonds has been completely transferred to microfilms, but the microfilms are not available to the users of archives.

Related units of description

Diversa Cancellariae (HR-DADU-15), Debita Notariae (HR-DADU-10), Registrum citationum de foris (HR-DADU-30)

Related descriptions

Publication note

Gregor Čremošnik, Istorijski spomenici Dubrovačkog arhiva: Kancelarijski i notarski spisi g. 1278-1301, Beograd, 1932. Jorjo Tadić, Jevreji u Dubrovniku do polovine XVII stoljeća (résumé: La Communauté Juive de Dubrovnik), Sarajevo: La Benevolencia, 1937. Lucio Lume, L’archivio storico di Dubrovnik con repertorio di documenti sulle relazioni della repubblica di Ragusa con le città marchigiane, Roma: Archivio di Stato, 1977. Stjepan Ćosić, »Prinos poznavanju tajništva i arhiva Dubrovačke Republike.« (summary: Contribution to the Knowledge of Secretary Office and Archives in Republic of Dubrovnik) Arhivski vjesnik 37 (1994): 123-145. Ignacij Voje, Poslovna uspešnost trgovcev v srednjeveškem Dubrovniku (summary), Ljubljana: Znanstveni inštitut Filozofske fakultete, 2003. Moisés Orfali, »Aspectos sociales y espirituales de los sefardíes de Ragusa a través de la documentación testamentaria (siglos XVI-XVII).« Sefarad 66/1 (2006): 143-181. Bariša Krekić, Unequal Rivals: Essays on Relations Between Dubrovnik and Venice in the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Century, Zagreb - Dubrovnik: Zavod za povijesne znanosti HAZU u Dubrovniku, 2007. Vesna Miović, »Prijevodi sefardskih ketuba Državnog arhiva u Dubrovniku.« (summary: The Translations of the Sephardic Ketubbot at the State Archives in Dubrovnik) Anali Zavoda za povijesne znanosti HAZU u Dubrovniku 52/1 (2014): 89-130. Vesna Miović, Relja Seferović, »Gracia Mendes in Dubrovnik.« Dubrovnik Annals 18 (2014): 65-94.

Notes area

Alternative identifier(s)

Old reference code

Fonds of the Dubrovnik Republic and the territory of the former Republic under the French Administration, series 26

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Rules and/or conventions used

Descriptions of fonds, series and sub-series are made according to the ISAD (G) standard (general international standard archival description).


Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion



  • English



Archivist's note

Description prepared by Vesna Miović (Fonds, Series, Subseries) Croatia [The Institute for Historical Sciences in Dubrovnik, Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts (CASA)] Translation to English by Zrinka Friganović Sain

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