We are a hundred-year-old archival and cultural institution devoted to preserving the city’s documentary heritage and encouraging historical research and dissemination.
But we are much more than an archive, as is shown by the variety and global nature of the material we keep: manuscripts, prints, maps, street maps, drawings, engravings, posters, goigs, cultural event programmes, playing cards, advertisements, oral testimonies, books, newspapers, magazines and so on.
The wealth and diversity of the combined documentary, bibliographic and press collections have made us a leading heritage and historical research centre, not just in Barcelona but the whole country, with an international profile given the interest in the collections we hold.
You’ll find us in Casa de l’Ardiaca, an iconic building in the heart of Barcelona.
What is the Historic Archives of the City of Barcelona (AHCB)?
We are responsible for the custody, treatment and dissemination of historical documents generated or received by the city government from its creation in the middle of the 13th century to the liberal revolution of the mid-19th century.
These extremely rich core records have gradually expanded with the addition of other archival, bibliographic and press material considered to be of interest to anyone who wishes to learn about the city’s history.
Our archives and collections are organised in three sections:
- The document archives: consisting of the Medieval and Modern Archive, the Graphics Archive and the Oral History Archive.
- The Library: with a comprehensive bibliographic archive specialised in the history of Barcelona and Catalonia, enriched by private collections on other subjects.
- The Periodicals Library: with city periodicals from the 17th century to the present day.
To ensure the protection, preservation and conservation of all our records, we have created two specific technical services:
- Preservation and Restoration Service: responsible for keeping documents under optimal preservation conditions.
- Reprographics and New Technologies Service: responsible for implementing document copying policies for the purpose of creating backup and consultation copies.
In order to foster knowledge about the city’s history and documentary heritage, we have the Barcelona History Seminar, our preferred framework for organising activities and publishing.