The National Museum of popular arts and traditions is the only Museum in Italy with specific expertise in the field of demoetnoantropologiche, its purpose is documenting folk traditions of all the Italian regions and maintains over one hundred thousand documents, acquired from 1906 to the present.
The Museum was founded by the Italian Ethnography exhibition held in Rome in 1911 to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the unification of Italy and had for its founder Lamberto Loria (1855-1913), Ethnologist, who after several expeditions to study in non-European countries, she realized, during a brief stay in the Sannio, that even in the early 20th century Italy had to do ethnographic research. It was indeed necessary to document the pastoralist culture which at the time was undergoing major changes because of the gradual industrialization of areas near and far and subsequent emigration from rural centres.
All the documentary material of the Museum is currently accessible to the public through numerous services: the library, the historical archives which preserves documents relating to the acquisition of objects, prints and drawings, photographic archives, sound archives, the archive of Visual Anthropology, ethnographic, deposits the Office Inventory cataloguing and loans, the restoration workshop and the audiovisual laboratory. The Museum, for its specificity and uniqueness throughout the national territory, is also a Centre for data collection, research and documentation.