Improving the knowledge of the seismic history of a region plays a key role in the evaluation of recurrence relations for probabilistic seismic hazard analyses. In this study, we present the results of an investigation carried out in two local historical archives in northeast Sicily, Italy. Several letters, petitions, and reports describing the effects of some earthquakes that occurred between the seventeenth and the eighteenth centuries in the Gulf of Patti area were found and analyzed. This contributed in filling the knowledge gap about a series of moderate‐to‐large seismic events that were overshadowed by catastrophic earthquakes with major impacts both on human losses and cultural heritage. We describe this experience in the hope that other historians will take up the work, looking for other northeast Sicily local archives to investigate because we believe this is the right way toward a better definition of the seismic history of one of the most seismically active regions of Italy.

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