Over the years, ASNP has come to be considered an outstanding journal in Italy and Europe, given the breadth of its subjects, its tradition of philological precision and its esteemed collaborators, including Giovanni Gentile, Delio Cantimori, Norberto Bobbio, Marcello Gigante, Giulio Lepschy and Arnaldo Momigliano.
The First Series, which included thirty volumes, was inaugurated in 1873 with an edition containing the dissertation of Dr. Vincenzo De Amicis on classic imitation in sixteenth century Italian comedy and that of Dr. Francesco d’Ovidio on the origins of the single inflection of the Italian noun, followed by an essay by Professor Giuseppe Sottini on the history of philosophy. At its foundation, ASNP was in fact conceived as a primary means to publish the work of particularly gifted teachers and students of the Scuola Normale, with the idea that attention should be paid primarily to the education of young people so as to reap the most important and stimulating rewards from it.
Debuting in 1932, the Second Series saw a quantitative and qualitative leap thanks to the impetus of former student Giovanni Gentile, who was the formal editor in chief of ASNP until 1943: to the essays of young scholars destined to leave their mark in the world of studies, such as Delio Cantimori and Arnaldo Momigliano, were added texts of lectures and conferences, an extensive section of reviews and a newsletter on the life of the Scuola Normale.
During the Second World War, the editorship passed to Luigi Russo, who, thanks to his initiative and organizational skills, was responsible for the rebirth of ASNP after 1943, making it possible to overcome the difficult historical and institutional vicissitudes marking the period from 1944 to the birth of the Italian Republic.
From 1951 the editorship was taken over by a Board of Editors, co-ordinated by Tristano Bolelli, Deputy Director of the Scuola Normale, and composed of scholars such as Ernesto Sestan, Arnaldo Momigliano and Armando Carlini. The new editorship instituted a complete renovation in the direction of a greater specialization in the humanities.
The Third Series, which was four-yearly, was inaugurated in 1971 . The editorship passed on to Giuseppe Nenci, who oversaw its coordination for a quarter of a century (1971-1995), supported by an Advisory Board and (from 1979) an Assistant Editor. ASNP became a mainstream journal in the field of humanities, maintaining its fundamental character of a high standard of studies and the relationship with the research work of students and teachers.
A Fourth Series started in 1996, under the editorship of Enrico Castelnuovo. The introduction of a stable Editorial Board brought a new vitality, by flanking the Advisory Board of teachers of the Scuola Normale. Furthermore, a Quaderni Series was added to ASNP in order to publish conference proceedings and monographic studies.
The Fifth Series, which was biennial, was inaugurated in 2009 under the editorship of Adriano Prosperi. Thenceforth, a Supplement joins the second issue of the year, in order to gather the archeological reports of SAET (Laboratorio di Storia Archeologia Epigrafia Tradizione dell’antico). From 2012 to 2014 Carmine Ampolo was the Editor in chief, followed by Daniele Menozzi from 2015 to 2017. Massimo Ferretti took over the editorship of the journal from 2018 to 2020. Since 2020 the Editor in chief is Stefano Carrai.
With a completely new typographical style, ASNP strives to be a leading forum for research in the Humanities, by meeting the challenges of an expanding global community of academic scholars. ASNP intends to consolidate its multi- and inter-disciplinary nature, accepting contributions in the fields of Philosophy, History, Literary Criticism, Art History and Archaeology. The Advisory Board, traditionally composed of teachers of the Scuola Normale, is completed by external members, Italian as well as foreign, assisted by several internationally renowned referees, who guarantee a rigorous evaluation of the articles.The Advisory Board is supported by a Board of Editors which is composed of professors and researchers of the Scuola Normale.