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Description of records

Owing to its nature as both a general archive for the Administration and historical archive, the Arxiu Nacional de Catalunya receives and looks after records from all sorts of origins, where their source, ownership, legal status, format and medium are concerned.
The Archive preserves more than nine hundred document records and collections occupying some thirty kilometres of shelving. As for the sound and image archives, Arxiu Nacional de Catalunya is also home to almost two million images. Particularly remarkable are the almost two hundred thousand glass negatives, four hundred thousand positives, one-and-a-half million maps and plans and more than twenty-five thousand posters.

Access to and reproduction of this material is subject to legal restrictions and the Archive's internal regulations.

The classification of the records corresponds to the general organisation chart established by the Ministry of Culture and the Media  and their descriptions are gradually being adapted to meet ISAD (G) and NODAC standards.

Photo: Arxiu Nacional de Catalunya (ANC)

Government of Catalonia Records

The records from this first group are broken down into three chronological stages: the first relates to the documentation generated by the Government during the Second Republic, from 14 April 1931, the date on which the Republic was proclaimed, until the end of the Civil War in 1939; the second consists of the documentation produced in exile during the Franco dictatorship, from 1939 to 1977; the third corresponds to the present day, which begins in 1977 which the re-establishment of the Government.

Photo: Arxiu Nacional de Catalunya (ANC)

Local Administration Records

This record includes the documentation linked to the institution which is considered the forerunner of the present-day Government of Catalonia. On the one hand we have the Mancomunitat of Catalonia, within which the records from the Treasury (1914-1925) are particularly noteworthy, and, on the other hand, the records from the Commission for the Liquidation of the Mancomunitat, founded during the dictatorship of Primo de Rivera in order to manage the dissolution of the accounts of the by now extinct Mancomunitat (1925-1932).

Photo: Arxiu Nacional de Catalunya (ANC)

Peripheral State Administration Records

This section is predominantly made up of the records of ministerial delegations within the province of Barcelona. It consists of a series of documents generated in Catalonia during the Franco years and transferred to the Government with the transfer of powers, which notably include records about the censorship of plays, legal deposit, the production and dissemination of books, road checks of registered vehicles, sports facilities, teaching personnel records (including the purges which took place under the repressive Franco regime), tourism and market legislation and high-voltage electrical installations for public use.

Royal and Seigniorial Administration Records

Within the jurisdiction of Royal Administration, the ANC conserves more than 3000 civil lawsuits from the Royal Court of Catalonia, ranging from the late 16th to the 19th century. The record has been inventoried by notaries public and boasts an incomplete catalogue.

Photo: Arxiu Nacional de Catalunya (ANC)

Judicial Records

This group comprises the records of different judicial bodies located in Catalonia throughout the 20th century: on the one hand, Barcelona's Municipal Courts, District Courts and Courts of First Instance; and Barcelona's Industrial Tribunals on the other. Where the records from the various Courts are concerned, highlights include the series of civil and criminal procedures and documentation relating to the internal management of the courts. As for the various Tribunals, meanwhile, actions relating to labour law predominate.

Photo: Arxiu Nacional de Catalunya (ANC)

Register Records

These funds consist of 2507 log books from the Barcelona Royal Exchange Brokers (1780-1956), also known as trade brokers. The brokers served the public in mercantile matters and the records in their registers had evidentiary value. The record is rounded off by a collection of market quotes from the Barcelona stock exchange, as well as logs of securities claims.

Institutional Records

This section groups together the records of organisations created with a very specific function, either as a public service or of public interest, All are linked to a greater or lesser degree with the Government of Catalonia, whether during the Republic or today, but have clearly differentiated characteristics and authorities. The issues and fields to which they refer are varied.

Photo: Arxiu Nacional de Catalunya (ANC)

Religious Records

According to the tasks with which it has been entrusted, the ANC gathers together documentation from religious institutions, which remains largely scattered today, as a result of the historical periods in which the institutions witnessed the dissolution of their heritage. This is the case of part of the former archive of the Convent del Carme in Barcelona, corresponding to the period from 1570 to 1851, which was deposited in the archive in 2008.

Photo: Arxiu Nacional de Catalunya (ANC)

Association and Foundation Records

These include records belonging to associations and entities, trade unions and political parties and associations of paramount importance in the contemporary history of Catalonia. Some of these holdings consist of records generated by the entities themselves and others are the result of total or partial recovery of documents, through donations and deposits of members and activists who have preserved them, largely in difficult circumstances.

In this section we must first mention the archives of political parties and trade unions; then there are youth and sports associations; cultural entities; professional associations, guilds and all sorts of institutions.

Photo: Arxiu Nacional de Catalunya (ANC)

Commercial and Enterprise Records

The ANC is charged with recovering a fundamental part of Catalonia's economic archives (its business and commercial records), on the understanding that the knowledge they contain takes on vast importance for the economic, technical, social and industrial history of our country. It currently includes an enterprise record made up of some 100 companies from various sectors, from the 18th century onwards, among which the textile, metallurgical, commercial, chemical and publishing industries are most prominent. Standout names in this section include big national and multinational companies such as La España Industrial S.A., Manufacturas Sedó S.A., Tecla Sala, La Maquinista Terrestre y Marítima S.A., Macosa, Siemens, Castañer, La Compañía General de Tabacos de Filipinas, S.A., Cros and S.E. de Carburos Metálicos, S.A.

Photo: Arxiu Nacional de Catalunya (ANC)

Heritage and Family Records

Owing to their importance, the nobility headlines this section: The Sentmenat dynasty, the Marquis of Castelldosrius; the Güell-López, Counts of Güell and the Marquis of Comillas; the Moixó dynasty, Marquis of Sant Mori, the Oriola-Cortada dynasty, Counts of the Vall de Merlès, the Blanes-Centelles, Counts of the castle of Centelles, the Despujol dynasty, Marquis of Palmerola, the barony of l'Albi and the barony of Ribelles, which feature documents from the 12th century onwards. The ANC also preserves heritage records of lineages from the entitled nobility (Espona, Arquer, Milans, Rialp) and several other rural and urban Catalan families. Together, these records account for a collection of over 7000 parchments.

Photo: Arxiu Nacional de Catalunya (ANC)

Personal Records

The ANC is home to a range of archives and records belonging to emblematic members of Catalan society from the 19th and 20th century, from many different fields. These include politicians (Francesc Macià, Prat de la Riba, Ventura Gassol, Jaume Aiguader, Josep Maria de Porcioles and Ramon Trias Fargas, among others); philosophers and educators (Eugeni d'Ors and Alexandre Galí); intellectuals (Carles Riba, Octavi Saltor, Maurici Serrahima and Ferran Soldevila, ) and artists (Josep Mainar, Joaquim Renart). Many of these records include photographic documents.

For their specific value, we must mention the work of several professional and amateur professions from the beginning of the 20th century: Antoni Esplugas (portraits), Josep Gaspar, the Brangulí (photojournalism), Gabriel Casas i Galobardes, Bert i Claret (sports photography), Frederic Cuyàs (industrial and artistic photography), F. X. Ferran i Brugues (industrial photography), Gonsanhi (bullfighting), Vivies (sport), Nicolás González i Albiach (sport and photojournalism), Eugenio del Castillo (newspaper reporting); and various iconic amateur photographers of the time, such as Hermenter Serra de Budallés, Dommingo Amat, Enric Rovirosa and Tomàs Vendrell.


Obtained through recoveries, donations and purchases, the Arxiu Nacional de Catalunya houses several extremely interesting factitious collections. Worth a mention include the significant collection of decrees and edicts (18th-20th century) from the Salvador Ferrer, Pau Mercader and Lluís Pañella holdings, as well as the renowned collection of "aucas" by Pere Grañén i Raso and the collection of posters on the prevention of accidents at work, which gathers together a series of posters on this subject from the 20s and 30s. Finally, the ANC conserves factitious collections of manuscripts, parchments and printed papers.

Photo: Arxiu Nacional de Catalunya (ANC)
Update:  01.10.2010