About the Conference: “Paper, Stone, Intervention. Archives and Intervention on Cultural Heritage” Ponferrada


Esther Cruces Blanco. ICA/SAR Chair.


Between the 14th and 15th of november of 2013, in Ponferrada (León, Spain) have been held the Conference Stone, paper, intervention. Archives and intervention in the historical heritage. The performance of this Conference has to be considered as a remarkable benchmarking and the word that would reflect what has came over in it is “co-work”. This meeting and discussion board has been the result of the colaboration between several institutions, at the begining the Conference was promoted by the Section of Architectural Records of the International Council of Archives (ICA/SAR) and by the professional Association of Archivists of Castilla y León (ACAL); the Junta of Castilla y León and the Municipality of Ponferrada joined to this initiative. On the other hand it is remarkable the participation and co-work of archivists, architects, archaeologists, historians and other professions that could be linked with the conservation, restoration or the intervention in the historical heritage.

Our position is based on the fact that without records, without archives, without a previous research there isn´t imposible to afford an intervention in the historical heritage, any kind of it (monuments, sites, archaeological excavations, movables, gardens, natural landscapes, records, etc.). About those topics speakers and public expressed their opinions, with discussions and different points of view, with reflections and some discrepancies, everything fits on a Conference that pretend to be useful for a review.

Archives are the pillars for the democracy, transparency and governance, it is being discussed so much about it, but we haven´t forget that archives look after those records that talk about the past and, therefore, to intervene in the past, to change it, to adjust it or to find out it, it is essential to come along the records as data resources. Undeniable, for that purpose, architects, engineers or archaeoligists must work in multidisciplinary teams, where the archivists had to take part –they know the resources, the records- as well than historians –they built up the recorded facts-. We could check very interesting examples of the necessary collaboration between several professions, and for this goal it was very hepful the visit to the National Museums of Energy.

ICA/SAR and ACAL would like to recover with this Conference the spirit of the CITRA (Conférence International de la Table Ronde des Archives) that was hold in october of 1990 in the city of Dresde (Germany) which was about Archives and archivists serving the protection of the cultural and natural heritages. The city of Dresde was a symbol for this issue, topic that we haven´t forget and archivists have to remember.

The venue of this Conference joined us: an old manor house, reinstated and adjusted for the Museum of the Radio “Luis del Olmo”. But outside this interesting site the forum and exchanges of information proceeded between all the participants, sometimes walking around the streets of the old Ponferrada, others sharing delicacies of the Bierzo´s district.


Please read below this new also in Spanish.