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<i>Llibre de registre de Graus Majors</i>, University of Cervera (1762-1797).

Llibre de registre de Graus Majors, University of Cervera (1762-1797).

Extract from <i>Llibre d’Ordenances del Reial Col·legi de Cirurgia de Barcelona</i> (1788), which required students' <i>limpieza de sangre</i> (blood purity).

Extract from Llibre d’Ordenances del Reial Col·legi de Cirurgia de Barcelona (1788), which required students' limpieza de sangre (blood purity).

<i>Expedient de creació del Col·legi Fortuny a Almacelles (Lleida) per a nenes i pàrvuls</i> (1933-1934).

Expedient de creació del Col·legi Fortuny a Almacelles (Lleida) per a nenes i pàrvuls (1933-1934).

Images of French colonies where some children were moved to during the 1937-1938 period, during Civil War.

Images of French colonies where some children were moved to during the 1937-1938 period, during Civil War.

The Records Office is in the ground floor of the Historical Building.

The Records Office is in the ground floor of the Historical Building.

05/09/2018

Cultura

Among the curiosities behind the walls of the Historical Building, there is a place hiding small treasures of the history of the University, the Records Office. The information it holds is not only about former students’ records and administrative documents. We can find a wide range of materials: manuscripts, printings, missives, schemes, posters, photographs… which allow us to trace the history of the University as well as the history of this city and this country. From the University requiring limpieza de sangre (blood purity) to students in the 18th century, to the role of the UB in children’s education during the Republic and the Civil War: a rich heritage kept by the Records Office and which is shown to the researchers and the general public.

The Records Office was mentioned for the first time on June, 4, 1726, during the period of University of Cervera. The documents that survived that moment are the basis of the most relevant part of the Records Office. We can find pieces such as Llibre de registre de Graus Majors de totes les facultats de Cervera. This volume, which is quite big and bears a typical decoration of that period, has information about all graduates (graduates and doctors) from between the years 1762 and 1797.

Another of the findings from the same time is Llibre d’Ordenances del Reial Col·legi de Cirugia de Barcelona, dating from 1788, which shows how students were required blood purity to enroll. That is, a document to ensure the education authorities that students or their ancestors were not Jews or Muslims. This document was a genealogical study with data on the two, three or four generations with references from neighbors ensuring the family members were cristianos viejos (“Old Christians”). Not until the 19th century did these certificates extinguish, although the exact date of its definite removal is unknown.

Urban transformation of Barcelona, documented in Arxiu UB

In 1837, with the return of the University of Barcelona, the head offices of the university Office were set in el Carme convent, until the current Historical Building was built, designed by Elies Rogent (1874). Rogent’s work was also documented in the Records Office. Projecte de les obres de guix, estucs i asfalts de la Universitat de Barcelona, from 1867, shows schemes and drawings of the project of the current building within Ildefons Cerdà’s urban plan, the sewerage, the distribution of the architectural elements of the building and decoration such as statues, friezes or the bells in the towers.

Another of the highlights in the office is the University District (1817-1969), comprised by Catalonia and the Balearic Islands. According to the Moyano Law (1857), the University of Barcelona took charge of representing the state regarding primary, secondary and upper education, and the Rector had similar functions to those of the state delegations in the Ministry of Education in the five provinces of the District. From this period, there is a great volume of documents. There are special cases, such as Expedient de creació del Col·legi Fortuny a Almacelles (Lleida) per a nenes I pàrvuls, no official i d’ensenyament de primària (1933-1934), which gathers, for instance, protest writings against the school due its religious beliefs. The report offers material (lesson schedules, necessary educational material, and so on) which gives us a glimpse of how the school of that time was.

Another piece of information with great historical value in the office is the photograph collection Delegación Española de la Infancia Evacuada (1937-1938). These are three photograph albums, by an unknown author, of the French colonies where some kids were moved to during the years 1937-1938, during the Civil War. The violence of the war lead to consider children colonies as a solution to move the kids away from the conflict. In 1937, the number of shelter centers grew notably: first in Spain, then abroad, mostly in Europe. The university District, the Rector, checked the distribution and organization procedures of the children. Photographs show kids during their daily lives in the colonies: waking up, eating, studying, playing, etc. “A child world, a home and a foster family for those who were taken from their families by the Civil War”, as said in the Records Office. The three albums are available in the website of Memòria Digital de Catalunya.

Historical documents at everyone’s reach

The document files of the Records Office of the University of Barcelona is in the ground floor of the Historical Building and everyone can access it as historical and cultural heritage, filling a form up. Also, a part of the open access documentary files is available through the management tools in UBDOC files. In UBDOC, they organize, classify and describe the documents that are created in the University, such as records and digitalization of these documents, which can be downloaded.

The staff helping the visitors in the Records Office offer support and guidance to make the visit easier, as well as to get reproductions of documents or asking for documents for an exhibition. Over the year, the Records Office has online theme exhibitions and offers information through articles on the projects and events in the University, published in the website.

The University of Barcelona joined the Universal Declaration of Files in 2016, promoted by the International Council on Archives (ICA). On June 9, International Archives Day, the UB takes part in this anniversary with several online documentary exhibitions and open access exhibitions available in the Records Office.

More information in the website of the Records Office

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