Publication of a Diplomatic Collection of Sant Martí Vell (Spain) from the 16th century

Project location: SPAIN, Girona
Project start date: December 2019 - Project end date: December 2023
Project number: 2019-047
Beneficiary: Institut Català de Recerca en Patrimoni Cultural

The aim of this Project is to publish a diplomatic collection, or diplomatarium, of the village of San Martí Vell in the 16th century. A diplomatarium is a joint, orderly and accessible collection of existing historical documentation in archives and other spaces, including private homes, which enables the reconstruction of a way of life in a given place. The San Martí Vell diplomatarium project could be extended in the future to the publication of other collections of documents dated from the period between the 14th and 19th centuries.

The main purpose of the documentary search and editing tasks described above is to make the compiled collection available as a printed book, in one or two volumes, within a not excessively long period of time. If the working hours of the project can be condensed into a period shorter than its total expected duration, which would be ideal for ensuring its development and completion, the work could feasibly be published by 2020. In this case, an introductory study would also be drafted beforehand, with an analysis of the edited documents, the working methodology used and the main information provided. 

The publication of the diplomatic collection will facilitate access to this information for those interested in the history of Sant Martí Vell, its geographical area or the 16th century, and its subsequent use. In addition to offering a wealth of information that can be incorporated into specialised research in different fields of study such as economic, social, family and religious history or linguistics, it also makes it possible to design actions to disseminate the local past and heritage among a non-specialist public (signposting of heritage spaces and elements, creation of thematic itineraries, offering school workshops and guided tours, dissemination of texts in printed or digital media, etc.). 

One of the most interesting dissemination activities that could be considered is the preparation and publication of a brief illustrated history of everyday life in Sant Martí Vell during the 16th century, in which the construction of the parish church is prominently featured. For this proposal, we can use as a model two excellent books: Una aldea en tiempos del Románico (A Village in Romanesque Times) by Jaime Nuño and Chema Román (Aguilar de Campoo, Palencia: Fundación Santa María la Real, Centro de Estudios del Románico, 2009), and Un poble en temps del Romànic, based on the former and a work by the same authors together with Tura Clarà (Barcelona: Comanegra, 2011). Both portray, in a didactic way and through images, the day-to-day life of the small rural towns of Revilla de Santullán (Palencia) and Beget (Girona) in the 11th and 12th centuries, respectively, including the building of their churches, which is presented as a paradigm of the construction process of the Romanesque church. Inspired by these books, our proposed book, which we will call Sant Martí Vell, un poble a l’època dels genis (Sant Martí Vell, A Village in the Era of Geniuses), would present scenes of daily life in the 16th century through images and texts elaborated from the information contained in the diplomatic collection, and would illustrate the construction procedures and techniques used for the parish church, based on the capitulations of the works found and on other complementary information published within the collection.

This project received a grant from The Nando and Elsa Peretti Foundation, Delegació a Catalunya, for years 2019-2023.

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