This is the website of the research project ‘Legacy of industrial heritage in the media: applying data mining techniques to historical documentation in order to relive the history of the industrial heritage of Catalonia’. This project began back in 2016, when Jordi Martí Henneberg, Ph.D. (Universitat de Lleida) was granted a RecerCaixa programme fellowship, promoted by Obra Social “la Caixa” in collaboration with l'ACUP.
This initiative aims to equip the traditional concerns of the Humanities with tools from the digital and IT worlds. We apply these tools to the analysis of industrial heritage within the field of the territorial implementation of economic activities and to the theoretical context of economic geography based on historical data.
Industrial heritage is our field of study
In response to the explosion of Internet information, patrimoniindustrial.cat suggests the creation of a catalogue of documentary sources relating to industrial heritage. By compiling and giving free access to data from newspaper libraries, archives and digital libraries, it aims to help improve our knowledge of the subject.
El repositori neix de la combinació de dues tipologies de dades: (1) Llistat d'elements patrimonials (catalogats i no catalogats) que han tingut una incidència notable en la història econòmica i industrial catalana; (2) Conjunt de fonts documentals que aportin informació rellevant sobre els diferents elements (notícies, imatges, referències bibliogràfiques, etc.)
To display these data, we developed an interactive map which allows simultaneous browsing, via a single website, of the aforementioned digital databases that contain information for interpreting the industrial heritage of Catalonia.
There are two main goals. One is to obtain relevant scientific results and the other is to do this by collaboratively spreading information via educational institutions and to the whole society.
Our research aims include the scientific and social projection of the results obtained.
The project can be divided into different lines of work:
- To generate a database about industrial heritage which will also serve as a representative inventory for administrative and cultural institutions.
- To provide a database of press news collected from digital newspaper libraries and link this to industrial heritage elements. In this way, we can build a chronology based on press news about each of the elements that form part of Catalonia’s industrial heritage. A pilot test will be carried out using La Vanguardia’s digital news library, but the database can later be expanded by including other local, regional and national newspaper sources.
- To generate scientific results and promote their diffusion by innovative means. The results will emerge from an analysis of the relationships of the main heritage items with geography, demography and transportation networks being used as key explanatory factors.
- To create educational resources related to industrial heritage that can be used by primary schools, high schools or museums. We also wish to promote and supervise graduate, master’s degree and PhD theses on the subject.
- To spread awareness about industrial heritage among the educational community and the whole society via a new website in Catalan, Spanish and English. This website will spread knowledge about our pioneering work and methodology and will present an interactive map with which users will be able to search the aforesaid database.
The researchers involved in this project insist on the importance of studying industrial heritage for various reasons.
Industrial heritage is an active study resource for the humanities and economic geography.
The assets that form part of Catalan industrial heritage cannot be studied as isolated elements as they can only be understood within their individual networks of socioeconomic relations. In order to understand industrialisation, we must know which enterprises and financial resources were used to promote industrial activity and their ties with Spain, Europe and the world. At the same time, the study of industrial heritage cannot be disconnected from the study of the urbanisation processes which not only eased industrial production but also brought important social conflicts.
Industrial heritage is the architectural legacy of past industrial activity and its analysis enables us to understand the social, cultural and economic aspects of a territory.
Industrial heritage is a potential resource for promoting and developing activities and territoriality.
Elements such as orography, the availability of natural resources and administrative borders have all contributed to industrial localisation in Catalonia, while transport and communications infrastructure has allowed interaction between different economic activities. The creation of industrial centres determined the demographic concentration and generated what could be called the industrial landscape.
Industrial heritage is the architectural legacy of industrialisation and it still has a significant value. It is formed by real property and the industrial complexes which either house or could house activities which are usually well-connected and share an industrial landscape with their environment. The deterioration of this heritage has led communities to vindicate the usage and identity value of many of these elements with proposals for their recovery or reconversion and for changes of ownership.
The interactive map of Catalan industrial heritage is an interactive inventory which combines data from various documentary sources. On it, we can find the location, description and documentation associated with each cultural resource, and it will enable us to find spatial and content relations.
The interactive map is a tool for research and for making an overall analysis of Catalan industrial heritage.
The map is the result of a three-layered structure:
- List of industrial heritage elements: all the property built to house preindustrial or industrial activity, or buildings housing public services.
- Relevant documentary sources: data selected from newspaper libraries, libraries, digital repositories (press news, references, records, documents, notes, accounts, reviews) which have been filed in order to use them for analysis and scientific and social dissemination.
- Relational database: combination of the aforesaid resources to create an extensive catalogue of Catalan Industrial and Technical Heritage which includes as much information as possible derived from documentary sources and which can be used as a tool for managing and spreading knowledge about industrial heritage.