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Dealing with historical data sets - which are incomplete by nature, although this does not mean that they are of low value - it seems more appropriate to estimate «how much incomplete» the data sets can be and to use them together with such estimates. In other words, it seems more appropriate to assess the completeness looking «outside
» the data sets; that is, investigating the way historical records have been produced, preserved and retrieved. This paper presents the results of investigation carried out in Italy, according to historical methods. First, the completeness of eighteen site seismic histories has been investigated; then, from those results, the completeness of areal portions of the catalogue has been assessed and compared with similar results obtained by statistical
methods. Finally, the impact of these results on PSHA is described.
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