Archivo de Escrituras Cotidianas

May 11, 2009

The Archivo de Escrituras Cotidianas (Archive of Everyday Writings) in Alcalá de Henares is a part of the Red de Archivos e Investigadores de la Escritura Popular (Network of Archives and Investigators of Popular Writing) which is a group of six archives across Spain that work together to conserve and study personal documents and materials from Spanish history in order to bring to light the importance of the collective memory of the people. This organization aims to recuperate the history that has been ignored by historians who only study and collect official records. While the official history is an important part of the story, these archives look to complete the historical record with personal materials that represent an essential part of the history of Spain that has never been written down and recorded. These historians also emphasize that personal testimonies show a different view of the past and create a history of peoples’ experiences, as opposed to one of just facts. Sample document from archive

More specifically, the Archivo de Escrituras Cotidianas was founded in 2004 in the Department of History and Philosophy at the University of Alcalá de Henares through the funding of the Interdisciplinary Seminary of Studies of Written Culture (SIECE). The objectives of this research center are to conserve, study, and publish the history of the common people that would otherwise be lost forever in personal records. Included in this archive’s growing collection of materials are personal letters, war-time diaries, school notebooks, songs, poetry, and much more. This archive also aims to develop an interest in this history among the younger generations by creating educational materials for them to use in their own studies of this personal history. The historians and archivists at the university also organize publications, expositions, conferences and round tables as a means to share their research and promote the significance of the common people’s everyday writings in the process of recuperating memory. Source: Presentation Booklet from the Red de Archivos e Investigadores de la Literatura Popular which can be found here.

Current Perspectives

March 11, 2009

In studying any period of history, one focuses on the past- what occured, who took part in the events, the immediate aftermath, etc.  Although our research investigates a recent law, we clearly must look at issues from the past when studying the “Law of Historical Memory.”  With this focus on events from the past need to be unearthed and remembered, we easily concentrate entirely on the years surrounding the Spanish Civil War.  For this reason, our visit today to the Centro de Investigación y estudios Republicanos (CIERE) stands out in our investigation as one of the current perspectives we have considered in our routes of memory in Madrid.  Read the rest of this entry »