Norman Foster Foundation Think Tank 2018—Archives

1-2 March 2018

With the support of Libnova, seven professionals dedicated to managing graphic and historical archives in Spain were invited to share their experience in a series of two-day session seminars.

Attendees deliberated on the role of archives as a resource for future generations and the diffusion of knowledge in a world where the excess of information is the new norm. 

Coming from institutions such as the Royal Palace, Reina Sofía Museum and the Architects Institute from Madrid, Seville and Barcelona, several experts engaged with students in the field of archives. The sessions were opened by Estrella de Diego, Academician at Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, who questioned the traditional concept of archive, followed by Margarita Suárez, former Archivist-in-Chief at the Norman Foster Foundation, who gave an insight into the unique dynamics of an archive accompanied by a guided tour. 

In the second part, Alberto Sanz and Andreu Carrascal highlighted the importance of a Historical Architectural Archive service. Talking respectively about Barcelona and Madrid’s Architects Institute, Carrascal explained the functioning of the Col·legi d’Arquitectes de Catalunya and its consulting role, while Sanz talked about the COAM’s Servicio Historico digital initiatives. Subsequently, Blanca Ruilope, Library Director at the Architecture School of Madrid (ETSAM), explained the academical importance of the availability of architectural records. Gemma Hernández shared her view on how social media can be a seminal tool for transforming the way archives are generated and are made available to users. 

The think tank was closed by María del Carmen Martín, who through the ‘Memoria Digital de Canarias’ project presented a pioneering digital collection that makes historical information freely accessible to the public.