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The Museo del Prado and Telefónica are collaborating to make the archive that documents the Museum’s nearly 200 years of history available on its website


Thanks to the support of Telefónica as a Benefactor Sponsor of the Visitor Services and other Users improvement programme, the Museo del Prado is now the first Spanish museum and one of the few in the world to make its historical archive available online. By doing so it is leading the way in free access to information by making it possible to consult both its collection of works of art and the contents of its archive online.

This initiative offers nearly 12,000 digitalised documents, including: the Museum’s ground plan and elevation; the list of the paintings on display in the Sala Francesa in 1887; the appointment of Pablo Picasso as the Prado’s director in 1936; and the personal archives of the Madrazo family, of Valentín Carderera, one of the leading figures in the Spanish 19th-century art world, and of Salvador Viniegra, deputy director of the Museum between 1890 and 1898.

To mark the recent celebration of the Museum’s 198th anniversary, as of today the Museo del Prado in collaboration with Telefónica has made its digitalised documentary holdings available to the public. The archive spans documents dating from 1814 on the creation of the design for a new museum to recent ones from the Museum’s archive; documentation generated by the Museo de la Trinidad which offers an account of its activities from 1839 to its fusion with the Prado in 1872; and letters, personal and professional documentation relating to prominent cultural figures who had close ties to the Museum, such as the Madrazo family and Valentín Carderera. Taken as a whole, this material allows for a study of the Museo del Prado’s almost 200 years of existence and by extension the history of Spanish culture in the 19th and 20th centuries.

The Prado’s archive houses documents created and received by the institution in the course of its activities, since 1819 when it was known as the Real Museo de Pintura, to the present day; the archives of the Museo Nacional de Pinturas, better known as the Museo de la Trinidad; and a series of personal archives including documentation received through donations or acquisition. The possibility of consulting the archive on the Museum’s official website will firstly provide access for the researchers and millions of users who cannot come to the Museum and will secondly mean that some chapters in the Prado’s history can now be rewritten.

The Museo del Prado is committed to being a leader in the free dissemination of information by offering online consultation of both its collection of works of art and the holdings of its archive. The Prado is now the first Spanish museum and one of the pioneers worldwide to make almost 12,000 digitalised documents available from its historical archive. The number of documents will gradually increase as the process of cataloguing and digitalising the Museum’s holdings advances.

This project has given rise to the work undertaken by the Museum’s Archive and Documentation and Department of Digital Development departments.

For its part, Telefónica’s collaboration with the Museum to make its historical archive accessible complements other projects that have made it possible to bring the Museo del Prado to visitors and art lovers all over the world. Among the most recent projects are the Prado’s own website, the “Goya in the Prado” website and the online course on Velázquez.

The holdings that can be consulted on

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