Wow! Free charters!

One of the nice things about Catalonia as a study area is that they have that provincial thing of pride in the ‘monuments’ of their local history on a national scale. There aren’t very many chronicles from as early as I work, indeed ‘none’ would be a fair summary, so the history has to be done from smaller texts. And the scholars of the area have risen to that challenge. Thus, an awful lot of the copious documentary material from my area and period of study is in print, and without that fact I could never have done my thesis. In 2001 Adam Kosto and Paul Freedman put a bibliography of this material online, but so much more has come out since then. There are two particularly important series for my line of work. More important, but as yet lacking crucial volumes, is the Catalunya Carolíngia, which aims to get all the documentary material from the old Catalan counties from before 1000 into print. This has been going since 1926 but in recent years has been given a real shot in the arm by the tireless work of Ramon Ordeig i Mata, who has in some measure or another seen seven of the current twelve volumes to press since 1998. Then, there is the Diplomataris series by the Fundació Noguera, which is instead working archive by archive, and currently stands at forty-four projects. Between these two there isn’t much not covered, which makes my life a lot simpler (and the bits that aren’t covered that much more tantalising).

Cover of Josep Baucells et al., Diplomatari de la Catedral de Barcelona (segle XI), vol. I

The Catalunya Carolíngia did however rather start with the fringe, the almost-in-Aragón counties of Pallars and Ribagorça and then the frontier ones of Osona and Manresa… The heartland was effectively missing until Girona was covered in 2003, and the volumes for Barcelona, which is naturally where a vast proportion of the material comes from, are still in process. The Fundació Noguera has however stepped up to this gap, covering the comital archive in 1998 (up to Ramon Berenguer III; when I last saw Professor Gaspar Feliu he told me that the next set of volumes is well-advanced) and a variety of the smaller ecclesiastical archives before and after. The Arxiu Capitular, in the cathedral, which is arguably the second most important if not the first, had meanwhile set out on its own with a first volume covering the ninth and tenth centuries in 1995, but more recently appears to have decided that this was not the way to go and has arranged that subsequent publication of its documents should be done via the Fundació Noguera. Consequently, the five volumes covering the eleventh century, edited by Josep Baucells i Reig with a wide range of assistance, came out in 2006 under their auspices, and now, I am informed by a post at Joaquim Graupera’s Maresme Medieval about the Fundació, they are available online for free as PDFs. And they’re not the only ones! The new volume covering Sant Joan that I mentioned here is there too, so is Jordi Bolòs’s for Serrateix and a number of others that may interest you (you know who `you’ are). I don’t know what their business model is here but I hope it continues, as this sort of generosity deserves to be rewarded!

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8 responses to “Wow! Free charters!

  1. Free charters indeed! Thanks for the link. I’m glad to see some later material available as well.

  2. Cullen Chandler

    I need more libraries stateside to get the Catalunya Carolingia volumes, so I can borrow them through ILL, or maybe travel to them. I don’t know how likely it is that I will get to Catalunya next year, after all (grumble grumble), so the published charters may be the way to go.

    • I’m feeling similar lack-of-travel pains, but I have also been extremely tempted to start just buying the Cat. Car. volumes, given that the IEC is selling them at forty Euros apiece. That means a full set of CC IV, which is the one I use most, would set me back just over 100 quid at the moment, plus I suppose another 50-odd postage, which is not exactly cheap but probably worth it. It looks less good in dollars, mind. How on earth have you been managing without them, though?

      • Cullen Chandler

        When I was in graduate school, I somehow came into copies. I don’t know if a public forum would be the best place for details on that… So I have vo. 1 (= Abadal’s work, as I recall), 2 (= royal charters), 3 (=Pallars and Ribagorca), and 4 (= you know well).

        I got a chance to take a quick look at vol. 5 when I went to Notre Dame a couple of summers ago. Just seeing made me articulate a change of plans so that I could build in time to look at the whole set more carefully.

        If I do get back in country, I just might try to snap up some volumes to take home with me.

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