The Olivetti Historic Archive was set up in 1986 on the initiative of Paolo Mancinelli, at that time General Secretary of Olivetti, together with the Fondazione Adriano Olivetti and from 1987-1994 was established and developed under the scientific management of Professor Giovanni Maggia, General Secretary of the Fondazione Adriano Olivetti. Successively, the collections of the leading Olivetti players and those from the Olivetti Company were deposited at The Olivetti Historic Archive together with collections and deposits by leading players linked in a range of ways to the entrepreneurs and the company. On the 12th of March 1998, the Archive gained its independence with the signing of a memorandum of Associazione per l’Archivio Storico Olivetti (Olivetti Historic Archive Association). Olivetti company, the Municipality of Ivrea, the Province of Turin, the Politecnico di Torino (Turin Polytechnic), the
Compagnia di San Paolo and the Associazione Spille d’Oro Olivetti became the founding and supporting members of this initiative. The first Associazione Archivio Storico Olivetti Board Meeting ratified the membership of the Fondazione Adriano Olivetti (Adriano Olivetti Foundation) and later Telecom Italia also became a member of the Association.
In October 1998, the documentation archives and collections conserved at Villa Casana were recognised to be of “remarkable historical interest” by the Piedmont and Aosta Valley Archives Superintendency.
The heritage conserved by the Associazione Archivio Storico Olivetti consists of documents, letters, books, journals, magazines, posters, drawings, films, audio-visuals, products, models and plastic moulds that are the subject of systematic electronic cataloguing and where possible digitalisation.