Memories of a trip to Italy and France in 1930: Emilio Camps’ postcards

This project presents part of the document collection kept in the National Archaeological Museum belonging to the collection of Emilio Camps Cazorla. Specifically, it contains all the documentation related with a study trip carried out from October to December, 1930, with another two of the museum’s curators, Blas Taracena and Joaquín Mª de Navascués. The train journey began in Madrid, went through the south of France to Italy, and crossed Switzerland to reach Paris.

The resulting record presented here is a handwritten journal in two volumes, describing his experiences and impressions, together with more technical annotations, photographs, notes and sketches of places, pieces and museums visited. The journal is complemented by a series of postcards, which illustrate a professional journey, but also of proof of and witness to his personal and scientific tastes and preferences. The existence of the two document collections has enabled cataloguing of postcards and their correlation with the exact time recorded in the journal and also enabled many of the journal’s aspects to be explained more specifically, the result being a thorough transcription and an annotated online edition with comments.

Postal del Coliseo, Roma

The postcard collection

Página del diario I de Camps

The trip journal

The existence of the two document collections has enabled cataloguing of postcards and their correlation with the exact time recorded in the journal and also enabled many of the journal’s aspects to be explained more specifically, the result being a thorough transcription and an annotated online edition with comments.

The state and appearance of works of art, monuments, museums, cities and landscapes are documented and shown, some of which have been altered or changed, and others of which have even disappeared for various reasons. Museums, architecture and people have been modernised and transformed, but the present-day traveller can still recognise in these old images some of the sights Camps and his companions saw in that autumn and winter of 1930.

All this has not only enhanced an unprecedented document collection but has also served as an excuse to delve into other social, cultural and artistic aspects which have produced the complete texts accompanying this catalogue.