When the National Archaeological Museum and the provincial archaeological museums were founded in 1867, a corps of professionals specialising in the study and conservation of the assets assigned to them was created.
The “Antiquarians” section of the Archivists and Librarians Corps, subsequently renamed “Archaeologists” (1901) and then “Museum Curators” (1973), together with the Museum Assistants Corps (1977) and the Museum Auxiliary Corps (1932), joined the ranks of the group of experts dedicated since then to performing the technical and management duties involved in protecting the cultural heritage preserved at archaeological museums.
The history of the National Archaeological Museum is not only the history of its collections and the exhibitions it has held, or of the building in which it is housed. It is also the history of the people who have dedicated their professional lives to this institution over the years. The daily efforts of these individuals, together with those of the Administration, Services and Maintenance departments, have made the museum what it is today.
Their ranks have included some of Spain’s leading archaeologists and experts, and a knowledge of their contributions is essential for understanding how the museum has evolved and, indeed, how the field of archaeology in Spain has evolved.