Libro de Registro de Excavaciones y Exploraciones

JSEA documents at the National Archaeological Museum

Estimated timeframe: 2019-2025

Project leader: Aurora Ladero Galán

The aim of this project is to digitise and catalogue the records of the Higher Council for Excavations and Antiquities (Junta Superior de Excavaciones y Antigüedades or JSEA). Documents generated by this council were discovered when museum records were reorganised during the MAN renovation works. These documents were briefly identified and divided into different categories—correspondence, film stills, publications, reports, JSEA personnel attendance lists, registries, accounts, administrative files, etc.—and an inventory was drawn up, which makes it easier to locate the documents.

Ficha catalográfica

Old catalogue cards, other organisational criteria

Estimated timeframe: 2018–2025

Project leader: Aurora Ladero Galán

In addition to the work done with the catalogue cards, grouped by object inventory number, there is a large number of documents consisting of other entries organised according to different criteria: source, subject, location , etc. Many of them have been reviewed and included in a nearly 350-page-long inventory that provides access to their contents.

This project aims to digitise and catalogue those documents and, whenever possible, link them to their respective files and related museum holdings in the DOMUS system

Fotografía tomada durante la campaña de excavación de 1941

Cataloguing documents from J. Martínez Santa Olalla’s excavation of the Visigothic necropolis of Castiltierra (1941 campaign). Thematic online catalogue

Estimated timeframe: 2019–2020

Project leaders: Virginia Salve and Isabel Arias

This project involves cataloguing and digitising unpublished photographs taken during the 1941 dig campaign. The majority document the excavation process, the methodology used and the exact composition of grave goods; as such, they are first-hand records of vital importance to researchers involved in the scientific study of this necropolis and the reconstruction of the excavation site.

These records will also complete the MAN’s collection of documents related to the four previous campaigns conducted in the 1930s, which have been studied and recently published by Luis Balmaseda and Isabel Arias.

Portada de catálogo Amador

Catalogue of photographs listed in the MAN collection between 1854 and 1950

Estimated timeframe: 2018–2020

Project leader: Virginia Salve

This project aims to catalogue and digitise photographic records, investigate their authorship, research the careers of confirmed photographers, and date the images.
Aside from the photographs of J. Laurent and those from the collections of archaeologists like Camps, Siret, Cerralbo, Cabré and Santa Olalla, the authorship of over five hundred photographs has been documented. These are attributed to major photographers or photo studios in Madrid, such as Moreno, Amador, Napoleón and Franzen; provincial photographers like Compañy, Zubillaga, Casiano Aguacil, Bestard i Cànaves, Pérez de Novoa, Ángel García Cardona and Pallejá; and even famous European photographers active in other countries, such as James Robertson in what is now Turkey.

Fondos fotográficos de Antonio Blanco Freijeiro

Reorganisation, preventive conservation and inventory of the Antonio Blanco Freijeiro photographic collection

Estimated execution period: 2017-2019

Supervisor: Virginia Salve

In 1991 the library and archival documentation of the art historian A. Blanco Freijeiro was acquired for the MAN. The photographic holdings comprise prints, negatives, transparencies, and preparatory material for publications, studies, and his work as a teacher and academic.
This intervention in the collection will allow us to examine its content and composition in detail, while its reorganisation and conservation will facilitate its future digitisation and cataloguing.

Digitalización y Catalogación de las Fichas de inventario “Orfebrería  y Ropas de culto” de 1941

Digitisation and Cataloguing of the Inventory Cards from the 1941 Exhibition “Orfebrería y Ropas de culto”

Estimated execution period: 2017-2019

Supervisor: Aurora Ladero Galán

Digitisation and cataloguing of a set of 310 catalogue index cards relating to the Junta del Tesoro Artístico (Artistic Heritage Board) and Servicio de Defensa del Patrimonio (Heritage Defence Service), and the exhibition held in the National Archaeological Museum in 1941, titled Orfebrería y Ropas de Culto (Liturgical Metalwork and Textiles).

Catalogación Tipos españoles de la casa J. Laurent & Cía

Cataloguing and online visibility of the collection of photographs from the series “Tipos Españoles” by the studio J. Laurent & Cía

Estimated execution period: 2017-2018

Supervisor: Javier Rodrigo del Blanco

In 1894 the MAN acquired more than a hundred photographs of the 1878 Paris Exposition by the photographic studio J. Laurent & Cía., in the form of albumin prints tinted with watercolours. They depict typical Spaniards, individually, in couples, grouped in genre scenes or representing trades, which had been exhibited in Paris and were later displayed in the MAN, in the lobby on the top floor leading to the ethnography galleries.
Their date, their documentary value, and the importance of their creator, make them exceptional documents in the sphere of photography and ethnography, and therefore after they have been restored, studied, catalogued, and digitised, they will be made available online in the form of a thematic online catalogue.

Catálogo temático abierto: José Ramón Mélida

Open thematic catalogue: José Ramón Mélida

Estimated timeframe: 2015-2017

Responsable: Aurora Ladero

Open thematic catalogue dedicated to José Ramón Mélida Alinari, famous archaeologist and Director of the National Archaeological Museum from 1916 to 1930. Document collection with very varied contents consisting of both correspondence held with archaeologists and intellectuals of the time and members of his family and writings reflecting the organisation of his work and his scientific and literary interests. To these documents are added photographs sent by researchers and colleagues or taken by himself during his trips to Egypt’s, Italy, etc., press cuttings and drawings, or typewritten copies of some of the reports of excavations he directed, such as those of Numantia and Merida.

Sala Antigüedades egipcias y orientales,1895-1940

Online publication on the history of the classification and display of the MAN’s collections

Estimated execution period: 2014-2017

Supervisor: Carmen Marcos Alonso, Virginia Salve Quejido, Concha Papí Rodes, Javier Rodrigo del Blanco and Begoña Muro Martín-Corral

The inauguration of the new Museum and the installation of a gallery on its history have made it necessary to revise many archive documents, press clippings and old photographs on its content. The project is intended to gather all this information in a comprehensive work of reference on the evolution and different arrangements of the permanent exhibition spaces, from the Casino de la Reina to the last installation dismantled in 2007. It will be an electronic publication to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Museum’s creation.

Pantalla de los Tesauros

Documentary Standardisation of DOMUS Thesauruses

Estimated timeframe: 2014

Responsable: Fernando Fontes Blanco-Loizelier y Javier Rodrigo del Blanco

As part of the campaign to standardise terminology launched by the Ministry of Culture in the year 2000, we are working to standardise the thesauruses used to describe and catalogue the museum’s collections and documentary resources in the MAN’s DOMUS program. The thesauruses involved in this project are: Cultural Context, Geographic Places, Materials, Techniques, Authorities, Museum Relations, Typology and Document Types.


Acetre nazarí de la Alhambra

Review of Long-Term Loans from Other Institutions at the MAN

Estimated timeframe: 2013-2014

Responsable: Virginia Salve Quejido

The National Archaeological Museum houses a vast, heterogeneous collection of archaeological cultural assets whose origins, provenances and methods of entry are quite different. The Documentation Department has decided to review the artefacts on long-term loan to this institution in order to quantify their number, identify the pieces within the collection, determine their legal status, and update their administrative information in the DOMUS program to facilitate proper management of these works.


Ficha de inventario

Program to Digitise and Catalogue Old Inventory Files

Estimated timeframe: 2010-2016

Project leader: Aurora Ladero

The goal of this programme is to recover and organise all the information in the old inventory files of the museum’s collections and preclude the need to physically handle these documents. To date, a total of 33,455 files have been digitised, pertaining to Section Two (now the Medieval Antiquities and Early Modern Era departments) and Section One (Prehistory, Protohistory, Classical and Ancient Egypt departments). The next step in the programme is to catalogue these files and associate them with the corresponding museum holdings via the integrated management system DOMUS.

Fotografía antigua, bodegón de piezas

Online Visibility of Photographic Resources in Files Archive Documentation

Estimated timeframe: 2011-2020

Supervisor: Salomé Zurinaga, Aurora Ladero Galán y María Teresa Alonso Martín

The focus of this project is to separate each individual photographic resource from the rest of the files archive documentation, going back to 1868, so that it can be properly preserved, inventoried, catalogued and digitised, with the ultimate aim of making all such photographs available to the public via the museum’s online catalogue. In addition, in the case of museum artefacts, we are associating the documentary resources with their corresponding museographic collection.

Mausoleo mameluco

Online Visibility of Lantern Slides from the Emilio Camps Collection

Estimated timeframe: 2010-2014

Responsable: Virginia Salve

In 1982 the museum received a donation from the family of Emilio Camps consisting of a collection of approximately 2,000 lantern slides of artworks and monuments, produced between 1933 and 1950 and used by Camps in his professional and teaching activities. After the slides were stabilised and restored, we have proceeded to digitise and catalogue them so that they can be viewed in the museum’s general online catalogue.


Nitrato, exvotos

Online Visibility of Old Negatives Produced by the Museum

Estimated timeframe: 2010-2014

Responsable: Virginia Salve Quejido y Begoña Muro Martín Corral

From the time of the museum’s founding until 35mm polyester negatives became the norm, around 1960, the institution produced approximately 15,000 negatives on glass plates, acetate film and nitrate film which document its history and that of its artefacts. For conservation and safety reasons, these negatives are being digitised and catalogued in order to upload them to the museum’s general online catalogue and make them visible to the public.

Proyectos finalizados

colección de Julio Martínez Santa-Olalla

Digitisation and cataloguing of magic lantern glass negatives and slides from the collection of Julio Martínez Santa-Olalla

Estimated execution period: 2016-2017

Supervisor: Virginia Salve and Mónica Martín

The project consists of cataloguing and digitising in DOMUS approximately 700 glass negatives and slides for “magic lanterns” with very diverse subject matter, which will be made available online for viewing on

Exposición Histórico Natural

Thematic online catalogue of the documentary holdings of the 1893 Natural History and Ethnography Exhibition

Estimated execution period: 2015-2017

Supervisor: Javier Rodrigo del Blanco

This exhibition was the last of the three great commemorative exhibitions marking the opening of the Palacio de Biblioteca y Museos Nacionales, the building which now houses the M.A.N. The project will digitise, inventory and properly catalogue the 32 existing photographs and provide context in the form of additional texts on the architecture of the museum, the concept of Ethnography at the time of the Expo, how the exhibition was arranged, the criteria of the time, and the current location of the pieces shown, which are now scattered among several different institutions. The result will be the creation of a subsidiary website on “Collective Catalogues” and the online publication of a joint catalogue which will also include newspaper reports and other original documents from the period


Thematic online catalogue of the photographic holdings from the Carteya site (Cadiz) in the Santa-Olalla collection

Estimated execution period: 2015

Supervisor: Fernando Fontes Blanco-Loizelier

Julio Martínez Santa-Olalla excavated the Roman archaeological site of Carteya from 1953 to 1961, without publishing any of his findings, and deposited most of his photographs at the M.A.N. The project will include cataloguing and digitising those holdings, which will create an extremely valuable tool for reconstructing the excavation process and methodology at the site, contextualising some of the pieces, and recovering a landscape which now looks quite different. These holdings have also been especially useful in providing a fuller understanding of the site for the team from the Autonomous University of Barcelona who are currently excavating there and collaborating on this project.

Prensa histórica

Online thematic catalogue of historic press reports about the M.A.N.

Estimated timeframe: 2014-2016

Responsable: Carmen Marcos Alonso, Aurora Ladero Galán y Concha Papí Rodes

Project with the aim of collecting news about the National Archaeological Museum, whether in the written press or audiovisual media. It will gather both news kept in the Museum Archive from 1869-2009, catalogued and digitised, and images and film about it kept in the Filmoteca Nacional (National Film Archive), including the state-produced, NO-DO newsreels. Into its second stage, after 2015, the search for news will be continued in the document collections of institutions like the National Library, the Municipal Newspaper Archive of Madrid, EFE News Agency, RTVE (Spanish Radio and Television Corporation) and other large nationwide television channels.

La Bastida

Thematic online catalogue of the documentary holdings for the site at La Bastida (Murcia) in the Santa-Olalla and Siret collections

Estimated execution period: 2014-2015

Supervisor: Virginia Salve Quejido, Fernando Fontes Blanco-Loizelier and Begoña Muro Martín-Corral

This project includes cataloguing and digitising around 400 photographs of the digs directed by Julio Martínez Santa-Olalla from 1944 to 1950 in this Argaric settlement and necropolis, and transcribing and editing the field journal and drawings of the excavation made by Louis Siret in 1886. The availability and added value of these unpublished holdings have been fundamental to a fuller understanding of the site for the team from the Autonomous University of Barcelona currently directing the excavation at La Bastida, who have worked with us to identify the documentary records of this project. The catalogue also contains articles relating to the Argaric culture, the photographic methodology, and biographical sketches of the diggers

Documentación fotográfica en sala

Online Visibility of Cultural Assets in the Permanent Exhibition

Estimated timeframe: 2012-2014

Responsable: Virginia Salve Quejido

In preparation for the upcoming reopening of the museum and the launch of its new website and virtual tour, we are working to make all of the artefacts on display available to the public: approximately 15,000 items will be accessible, with different levels of information and images visible in CER.ES, the collective catalogue of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport.

Fondo Siret

Thematic online catalogue of the documentary holdings of the Siret collection

Estimated execution period: 2013-2015

Supervisor: Aurora Ladero Galán and Concha Papí Rodes

Continuing the long-term process of identification of the Siret Archive, an overall study of its state of conservation, its digitisation and its cataloguing in DOMUS, this programme will ultimately present all this information as a thematic online catalogue. The documentation will be grouped according to the series of documents in the archive, making a total of 2,819 documents with 31,320 images available for viewing.

Fotografía de Sala

Cataloguing of Luis Vázquez de Parga’s Documentary Resources

Estimated timeframe: 2010-2015

Responsable: Concha Papí Rodes

When a new exhibition design was created in the galleries in 1954, the then director Joaquín María de Navascués assigned curator Luis Vázquez de Parga the task of supervising the preparation of a location inventory of the pieces in their new positions. The result was 28 albums with photographs and lists, which were used as working tools until the layout was changed again in 1965. The project entails digitising approximately 5,000 documents, cataloguing their contents and associating the information contained in photographs and lists.


Updating of Call Numbers Assigned to Cultural Assets

Estimated timeframe: 2011-2014

Responsable: Javier Rodrigo del Blanco

The major overhaul of the museum’s facilities has modified its internal distribution, making it necessary to create a new layout structure adapted to this new physical context. These new spaces have been equipped with furniture that is better suited to our new criteria governing the display and conservation of cultural assets. This project addresses the need to identify each space so that the artefacts can be located accurately and quickly.

Mausoleo numida

Thematic Online Catalogue of Photographs Donated by the Bey of Tunis for the European History Exhibition of 1892

Estimated timeframe: 2010-2014

Responsable: Virginia Salve Quejido

This project involves cataloguing and digitising nearly four hundred albumen prints of Tunisian monuments, landscapes and cities that were exhibited in 1892. At the same time, research is also being conducted to determine where each photograph was taken and by whom, in order to correlate them with the lists of the exhibition catalogue and create a complete thematic online catalogue.


Diario Camps

Online publication of documentation on Emilio Camps Cazorla’s 1930 study tour of France and Italy

Estimated execution period: 2007-2015

Supervisor: Virginia Salve Quejido and Sonsoles Espinós Ortigosa (I.N.A.P.)

In 1930 Emilio Camps, the Museum’s curator, went on an educational tour of Italy and France. The result was a detailed journal, with drawings and photographs, and approximately 1200 postcards of objects, monuments, and sites he visited, some based on his own photos. The project will catalogue and digitise all the documentation generated and publish it as an online thematic catalogue, with a transcription of the journal and an annotated critical edition