Santiago Alcolea, in Memoriam

The idea to create our Virtual Museum arose from a real need to bring the great wealth held in the various collections owned by the University of Barcelona to a wider audience. These collections are rich in their diversity, housing works of art, objects from the world of science – apparatus of many different origins, plants, minerals, and stuffed animals – and some of the extraordinary ancient books from our university library.

Many years ago now, the late Dr. Santiago Alcolea, founder of the Department of Art History at this university, made those of us who were then his students aware of the value of the works of art making up part of the UB’s patrimony. It is to him that we owe the only extant catalogue of the 17th, 18th and 19th century paintings hanging in the UB’s Historic Building and in some of its faculties.

Indeed, the continuing existence and up-keep of the collections that are to be found in the various science faculties of this university has been possible thanks to the selfless dedication of a number of teachers at the UB. For many years they have ensured that these collections have received the necessary support to guarantee their conservation and proper documentation.

It is for these reasons, and taking into consideration the fact that our Rector, Didac Ramírez i Sarrió, has been a strong advocate of the need for a University of Barcelona Museum, that I considered it opportune to begin by creating a Virtual Museum that will allow the general public access to the pieces that make up our collections through a virtual display of photographs and well-documented explanatory text.

I am proud to be able to say that each member of the team working in the Virtual Museum has been able to call on the indispensable support of all those persons – deans, vice-deans, teachers and administrative and service staff – we have contacted in order to complete this first phase in fulfilling our dream of creating the Virtual Museum of the University of Barcelona.

Dr. Lourdes Cirlot
Vice-Rector for Institutional Relations and Culture of the University of Barcelona