On June 12, 2023, and within the context of the International Archives Week 2023, took place the closing meeting of the first phase of the project of recovery and access to the documents of a benchmark of Catalan archeology, Joan Serra i Vilaró.
Mosén Joan Serra i Vilaró (1879-1969) represents in the fields of archaeology, history, archives and museums the vitality of the ecclesiastical intellect of the first half of the 20th century, which saw in history and archaeology not only a purely theoretical activity, but also a pastoral activity. This trend led to the creation of numerous institutions close to the conservative Catalanism predominant in the Catalan church, as well as to the dissemination and publication of research works. Within this movement, Mosén Serra i Vilaró has a great relevance, both for his archival and museological work in various institutions, as well as for his research work, which has led to more than two hundred publications.
The purpose of this project is to disseminate both Serra i Vilaró's own documentation and that related to him that we find distributed in various institutions throughout Catalonia. Thus, through the Arxius en Línia platform it will be possible to access documentation as diverse as excavation plans, annotations, correspondence, drawings or manuscripts, which correspond to almost 10 linear meters, and about 4,000 photographs in various media and formats, from glass plates to paper positives.
In order to make this documentation accessible in a unified and homogenized way, we are working on the development of a virtual and interactive map to show each of the institutions that have documents related to Joan Serra i Vilaró, what documentation is involved and with a clear link to Arxius en Línia.
This first stage of the project has been focused on the general identification of the centers with documentation related to Mossèn Joan Serra i Vilaró and its volume. The project is an initiative of the Departament de Cultura, both of the Serveis Territorials de Cultura de Catalunya Central and Tarragona and of the Servei de Coordinació de la Xarxa d'Arxius Comarcals and has the collaboration and active participation of the following institutions:
Arxiu Històric de Tarragona
Arxiu Històric Arxidiocesà de Tarragona
Museu Nacional Arqueològic de Tarragona
Arxiu Històric de Cardona
Museu Diocesà i Comarcal de Solsona
Arxiu Diocesà de Solsona
The second stage of this project consists of identifying in a more detailed way the documentary typologies that make up this project with the elaboration of descriptions, selective digitization of the most relevant and interesting documentation for the user, who can be an archaeologist, a scholar of Serra i Vilaró or any other person without any connection with this project. Lastly, preservation will be guaranteed by depositing the digitalized documents in the Digital Repository and actively disseminating them through Arxius en Línia and XAC_Premsa, among other channels.
This is a project with a Catalan scope but it highlights the importance of the contributions of the three insititutions in Tarragona that participate in the project - MNAT, Arxiu Històric de Tarragona and Arxiu Històric Arxidiocesà de Tarragona - because of the volume and diversity of the collection that they safeguard (personal and scientific docmentation, on paper and photographic) and the chronological scope that goes from the 1920s to his death.
The MNAT custodies the photographic archive of Joan Serra i Vilaró, composed by more than 1.100 glass sheets with photographies of various archaeological campaigns carried out by the same Serra i Vilaró on the Early Christian Necropolis, on the walls and in the Fòrum de la Colonia, a reflect of the attachment of Serra i Vilaró to the city of Tarragona.