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The Ateneu Barcelonès is a civil, private cultural association that has been a part of Spanish society and culture since 1860, having been founded with the aim of promoting dialogue and disseminating knowledge about the country’s artistic, historical and intellectual heritage. The institution is focused on its cultural programming and the activities of the Writing School and the Library. The latter is one of Spain’s most relevant repositories of heritage collections, specialising in the study of the 19th century and early 20th century, as well as in the social sciences, humanities and literature. Since 2005, the Library has been taking part in various digitisation projects, including several digital projects. The main areas of expertise are based on open source repositories, heritage promotion, digitisation and digital preservation, and crowdfunding.
Currently, the Ateneu Barcelonès participates and has membership in different projects:
- COFRE: The Ateneu Barcelonès is a member of the high-security preserving repository of the National Library of Catalonia, based on the international guidelines and initiatives. <http://www.bnc.cat/eng/Professionals/Digital-preservation2>
- Digital Memory of Catalonia and Old Catalan Serials Archive: The main part of the heritage digital collections are included en both projects. They are two cooperatives repositories where can be consulted, in open access, digitized collections of Catalan ancient journals, photographs, maps, posters, ex-libris, etc. related to Catalonia (http://mdc1.cbuc.cat/index.php).
- The institution has participated in the GoogleBooks project, the Virtual Library of Historical Newspapers and Europeana 1914-1919.
Furthermore, the institution works in different own heritage projects:
- The Almirall Portal: The main aim of the project is to explain, contextualise and inter-relate 19th century works, thinkers, artists and schools of thought at Barcelona’s Ateneu Library, providing access to digital copies lodged at other portals. In addition, its aim is to progressively integrate, through cooperative agreements with other institutions, other catalogues pertaining to specialised social sciences libraries with published heritage.
- Arxiu de la Paraula: The oral history repository of the institution where can be consulted digitized records of interviews, cultural activities, debates… All the records have taken place at the Ateneu Barcelones since 1973.
- Book as a gift: The main of of the project is to restore and digitalize old books through small monetary contributions of the citizens.