The Museum owes its origin and name to Professor Glauco Lombardi, who collected documents and objects from the 18th and 19th centuries, with particular regard to the Duchy of Maria Luigia (1816-1847).
Born in Colorno in 1881, Glauco Lombardi showed a great interest in archive research early in his career and was able to make many valuable discoveries, retrieving significant works of art and items of both historical and documentary interest.
In 1912 he founded “Aurea Parma”, a journal dedicated the art and history of Parma, which is still published today; a skilful photographer, he also contributed to other newspapers and became headmaster of the local School of Arts.
His collection was housed in the Ducal Palace in Colorno from 1915 to 1943; originally it presented works from the early period of the Duchy of Parma, but the extraordinary purchase from Count Giovanni Sanvitale shifted its focus to Napoleon and Marie Louise, who was Sanvitale’s great-grandmother.
When the collection found its definitive premises in the Palazzo di Riserva, Glauco Lombardi was appointed its life-long director; he died in Parma in 1970.