What it is

La Digital Memory of Catalonia (MDC) is a cooperative open-access repository containing digitized collections related to Catalonia and its heritage. It is promoted by the universities of Catalonia and the Biblioteca de Catalunya, coordinated by the Consorci de Serveis Universitaris de Catalunya (CSUC) and with the participation of other Catalan institutions.

El món agrari a les terres de parla catalana
(Coordinadora de Centres d'Estudis de Parla Catalana)

The main purpose of the MDC is to increase the visibility and consultation of the special and heritage collections of libraries in Catalonia. It prioritises the inclusion of the most unique and exceptional documents, and those likely be consulted by a larger number of users. This goal is achieved due to the following objectives:

Promoting the Catalan heritage digitization

Highlighting some collections which, due to its rarity or physical condition, are restricted or difficult to access.

Being the interface that allows to query this heritage together

Providing the tools for its preservation

This repository is open to the libraries and archives of Catalonia collaboration of which want to display their digitized special collections related to Catalonia or their heritage with predominantly graphic documents. Priority is given to the incorporation of the most unique and rare documents, as well as those capable of being accessed by a larger number of users.

The digitization of documents is carried out by the institutions themselves that should do it according to the parameters and criteria contained in the "Standards for digitization: minimum requirements" that "Open Science Area" from CSUC updates regularly. The incorporation of documents is done after consideration of intellectual property rights that may affect its operation.

The repository includes digital copies of photographs, drawings, maps, posters, pamphlets, incunabula and many other items with a total of over three million documents related to Catalonia from different institutions like universities, specialized libraries, archives, etc. It also includes ancient Catalan periodicals digitized through the Archive of Ancient Catalan Periodicals (ARCA) portal of the Library of Catalonia.

The repository contains such important collections as the first images of the albino gorilla "Floquet de Neu" playing in its natural environment at the Ikunde Centre in Equatorial Guinea, images about Catalan farmhouses from the beginning of twentieth century and, in the ARCA, periodicals published clandestinely during the Franco dictatorship. It also has outstanding collections related to the political, economic, social and cultural events that took place during the Spanish Civil War.

Col·lecció Dr. Sabater Pi - Naturalista
(Universitat de Barcelona)

Cartells polítics
(Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)

Users can search from the homepage itself, and the obtained results will be sorted according to their typology and origin (providing that they are not hosted at the MDC). Categories are as follows: text collections, image and audiovisuals collections, Archive of Old Catalan Magazines (ARCA), the Cartographic and Geological Institute of Catalonia, and the Digital Patrimonial Library of the UB. From the “Collections” tab, users can access all the public collections in the MDC sorted according to different criteria (alphabetic list, topics and typologies). They also get access to the list of next admissions and that of other collections not included in the MDC but with a similar nature.

The "Institutions" tab allows users to sort them in a list format showing all the collections of each institution, or by locating them geographically within a map. Specific applications, designed to provide collections of added value, are located in the homepage. Some remarkable examples are: the location of images of the Photographic Archive of the Centre Excursionista de Catalunya or the citizen collaboration project "Transcriu-me!!", whose objective is to transcribe old documents and improve their accessibility.

The MDC was set up in late 2006 in the CONTENTdm programme of the OCLC and since june 2018 it is hosted in the cloud. Some local developments have been made such as the possibility of viewing the search results in collections of images, texts or periodicals. The images meet international standards of description (Dublin Core, ESE, METS, PREMIS) and interoperability (OAI-PMH), which has made it possible to increase their visibility by offering them jointly with other international repositories such as Europeana (European portal for access to cultural collections) and OAIster (union catalog) and Linked Open Data technology. MDC collections are cataloged in CCUC (University Union Catalogue of Catalonia) and they are also accessibles in the Special collections page.

The dissemination of the MDC documents can be seen in the image below:

In 2011, 2012 and 2013, several MDC participating institutions got the support from Ministerio de Educación, Cultura y Deporte to digitize collections.

If you want to use any image included in MDC, check the information on "Gestió dels drets" (“Management rights") found in the page that describes the document. For further information you can also send an email to the address listed in section "Contact us".

If you want to contribute to MDC or to receive more information, you could send an email to mdc@csuc.cat.