Always important for historical studies, court archives are and will even be more important for the reconstruction of Italy’s life in the second half of the past century. The centrality and uniqueness of political violence in our country, from the "strategy of tension" to the bloodsheds of organised criminality and terrorism, make the difference in comparison with other countries. Moreover, the action against corruption brought about by the judiciary since the early Nineties has involved the acquisition to judicial records of entire sections of the archives of political parties. The expiry date of 40 years for the transfer of legal proceedings to the State Archives and the consequent free access to most of them, added to the earlier consignments being made nowadays, pose the question of the safeguard, preservation and exploitation of such sources. Limited budgets and bureaucratic hindrances make it necessary to resort not only to the criterion of cost cutting but also to a pondered assessment of the cost of cuts.
Keywords: Court archives, limited budgets, safeguard of sources, preservation of sources, exploitation of sources, free access to sources