One century of city memory

Photo: Vicente Zambrano

Photo: Vicente Zambrano

Photo: Vicente Zambrano

Images of the exterior of the Casa de l’Ardiaca and of the reading room of the Arxiu Històric de la Ciutat (Historical Archives of the City) as they are today.
Photo: Vicente Zambrano

In 1917 Barcelona City Council set up the Oficina d’Investigacions i  Publicacions Històriques (Historical Research and Publications Office), a department that was to be decisive for the course of social research. In the hands of the historian, archaeologist and archivist Agustí Duran i Sanpere (Cervera, 1887 – Barcelona, 1975), it gave rise to the project, approved that same year, to divide the Municipal Archives into two sections, an administrative one and a historical one. To house the history section, the City Council bought and restored the Casa de l’Ardiaca, which in 1922 opened its doors as home of the new Historical Archives of the City, headed by Duran i Sanpere himself.

We are commemorating these one hundred years in the life of the centre with an account of Duran i Sanpere’s work during the Spanish Civil War as director of the Generalitat’s Archives Section, safeguarding Barcelona’s and the rest of the country’s documentary collections. Accompanying this is a selection from his diary, an article on Barcelona’s new centralised archive in Can Batlló, which as from 2022 will house more than 50 km of documents from all the municipal archives from the 13th century down to today, and a further account of the work undertaken by the civil society to preserve the city’s memory.

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