Francesc Balada concludes his dedication to the National Archives

With his retirement last February 21, he leaves behind 37 years of continuous service at the center, almost ten from the management

Francesc Balada concludes his dedication to the National Archives
bonart barcelona - 03/04/24

After 37 years of service at the center and almost a decade occupying with the utmost dedication the direction of the National Archives, last February 21 Francesc Balada i Bosch (Caldes de Montbui, 1957) began his retirement. He has been the main protagonist in the formation of the National Archives as the most powerful in the structure of equipment of the documentary heritage of the Generalitat of Catalonia.

Francesc Balada i Bosch joined the National Archives in 1987, when Casimir Martí i Martí was its director. From a good start , as a result of his skills, he was in charge of administering the center, becoming the right hand of Casimir Martí and later of the new director, Josep Maria Sans i Travé.

During those first years, apart from dealing with the management of the Archives' financial and personal resources, he actively participated in the meetings with the architects to define what the functionalities should be for the new headquarters, inaugurated in April of 1995. Under his guidance, all the documentation kept at that time in the old premises on Calle Villarroel in Barcelona, the machinery and the staff were transferred to the new building located in the town of Sant Cugat del Vallès.

The great impetus to the consolidation of the National Archive

From this moment, a stage of consolidation of the institution begins. In the same year 1995, Decree 2/1995, of January 10, was published, restructuring the National Archives of Catalonia, which provided the center with different bodies that fit the new functions developed and the needs that arose over the this years It was also in 1995 when Francesc Balada was appointed deputy director of the Archive, a position he held until 2015, when he became its director.

During his time as deputy director, the computerization of the center began, with custom-made computer software that manages all archival processes. Also at this time, the 'Archives en Línia' portal was launched where anyone who wishes can consult online the funds and documents that are accessible there. Also, throughout these years the most significant volume of income was produced and not only from funds from the Administration of the Generalitat but also from private funds that trusted the National Archives to guard the documentation of the one they owned. It is also at this time when a large part of the Catalan documentation confiscated at the end of the War by Franco's troops and which until then had been kept in the city of Salamanca was returned. Finally, it is in this period that the Archive obtained the Certificate of Quality in accordance with the ISO 9001 quality standard, becoming the pioneering archival center in the implementation of a Quality Management System.

From 2015, Francesc Balada was appointed director of the National Archives. From this position, he has coordinated the implementation of several strategic plans for the National Archives with the aim of setting, with the participation of the entire staff, objectives and commitments to be achieved within a period of 3 years. It has also promoted the approval of the Decree on sections of the National Archives so that private archives that have documentation of national scope and of particular relevance and that are registered with the Catalan Archives Service can become sections Likewise, it has actively supported the digitization of the documentary collections kept at the center in order to preserve the original documentation and make it accessible to citizens through the 'Online Archives' portal (the 12.5 million digital files that currently preserved by the Archive are a good proof of this).

His legacy to the institution

Francesc Balada leaves the National Archives with an organic structure much better defined and adapted to its current functions, with the recent creation of four new positions in charge of areas that configure the institution with a more powerful organic structure. It remains pending the start of the expansion works of the new headquarters, which should make it possible to have up to approximately 22 km of shelves for document deposits in compact cabinets, as well as to expand the sorting rooms and improve the area for receiving documentation .

The director has been at the head of a team of professionals who have contributed very actively to making the National Archives the most important Archive in the country, as well as a leading center and prescriber of archive policies related to the treatment , the conservation and dissemination of the country's documentary funds. Now we just have to thank him for his dedication during all these years and wish him a very happy retirement!

He has been the main protagonist in the formation of the National Archive as the most powerful of the Generalitat de Catalunya's own


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