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The phrase quaderni di sicurtà was used in Medieval times to describe the accounting books in which trading companies used to take note of essential details of the insurance agreements in which they appeared as insured party or, with the same frequency, as insurers. Quaderni di sicurtà is also the title of the Catalogue of works owned by our Library.


1996 saw the publication of the initial core of our book collection and in 2012, under the same title and edited by dott.ssa Marina Bonomelli, publishing firm Electra published a new updated edition, which describes over 450 antique books and over 3000 monographs printed after 1830.


In this Catalogue the ancient texts are documented by colour photographs and provided with exhaustive critical notes on the authors and the work’s content. The index cards of the antique works have also been stored on a CD-Rom supplied with the volume, with modern editions and headlines from periodicals are also included.


The whole is completed by a list of the insurance Companies and Institutions mentioned in the books, a Table of contents by author and a Table of contents by subject (included in the CD-Rom).


This catalogue represents a kind of bibliographic encyclopaedia on insurance, a very useful tool for scholars, professionals and also those with a deep-rooted love of books who, thanks to it, are able to access the oldest books on insurance.


This work was made possible thanks to a contribution by Cariplo Foundation and its publication was sponsored by: ANIA, AIBA, Chartis, Covéa, HDI, Mach1, Reale Mutua, RSA and Sara Assicurazioni.






The book traces the main events of the insurance business from when it first came into existence in the Middle Ages to the present day, particularly focusing on the key moments that saw the introduction of its various branches. The first records date back to the early fourteenth century and relate to insurance policies for ships and their cargoes signed in Genoa and Florence. From here, marine insurance spread to the ports of the Atlantic and northern Europe, particularly to Amsterdam and London, which was the birthplace of Lloyd's. As a result of the Industrial Revolution that started in Great Britain new risks emerged, which in turn led to the creation of insurance policies against, fire, life, personal accidents, and theft.


Enriched by a great number of illustrations of policies, books and fire insurance marks, as well as a section entirely dedicated to insurance posters - mostly shown here for the first time -, this publication is an addition to the very small number of works on this subject.


The 168-page volume with English parallel text is in the 9.4x11'' format with full colour illustrations and is on sale for £ 35, which includes shipping in the UK. Please contact Fondazione Mansutti by email at


This work has been realized with the support of Fondazione Cariplo

Quaderni di sicurtà

The fascinating history of insurance

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