Contemporary Archive, the history of Barcelona

Arxiu. Contemporani

The Contemporary Archive is home to all the documents produced by the Barcelona City Hall during the great events that have marked the history of the city since the end of the 19th century.  From the Universal Exhibition of 1888, to the Olympic Games in 1992 and the Forum of Cultures in 2004. While these are the main highlights in the city’s history, there are other kinds of documents that are conserved in the archive and are essential in order to see how Barcelona has grown and evolved socially and physically. The archive is currently located in Carrer Bisbe Caçador, 4, in a building adjoined to the Roman city walls, next to Palau Requesens, the headquarters of the Reial Acadèmia de Bones Lletres (Royal Academy of Good Letters). The archive is a must for lovers of history and culture, even though today the documents can be digitally consulted digitally, (in 2016 as many as 48,930 documents were digitised).

Among the jobs of the archive is the conservation of documents that have been deposited here, which comprises a series of tasks, such as the special cleaning processes, carried out in order to avoid all kinds of possible infections and plagues that may affect the paper. There is also a service of reproduction and restoration of documents that have been damaged, and binding of books and bundles that have been undone for restoration or digitisation purposes. Indeed, this is one of the jobs carried out here today: digitising the archives according to material and economic possibilities, so that they are available to everyone in the online catalogue, that can be consulted in the archive’s website.