The collection of documents from the Historical Archive of the Botanical Institute of Barcelona (IBB) is composed of documents produced and received by botanists associated with Barcelona’s Council of Natural Sciences (Junta de Ciències Naturals de Barcelona) (1906 – 1934) and the IBB (1934 – 1994). A great number of documents were produced by Pius Font i Quer (1888 – 1964), Antoni de Bolòs Vayreda (1889 – 1975) and Oriol de Bolòs Capdevila (1924 – 2007) during the periods they were in charge of the IBB direction. Another part of the collection includes personal documents of botanists: Joan Cadevall Diars (1846 – 1921), José Cuatrecasas Arumí (1903 – 1996) and Carlos Pau Español (1857 – 1937), among others. These documents were compiled by Pius Font i Quer in order to complete the archive collection. They were donated by their authors to the IBB as a result of the close relationship that these botanists maintained with the Institute.

The historical collection also includes documents belonging to the Salvador collection, some of them being part of the correspondence they had with European scientists including Joseph Pitton de Tournefort, James Petiver and the Jussieu’s brothers, among others. Numerous administrative and legal documentation are also conserved.

These documents are primarily texts and photographs. Their contents are a good complement to the study of the formation of the BC herbarium collections currently held at IBB. Analyses of such documentation provide deeper insights into specific topics, including the formation of the classical historical herbaria in Catalonia, the creation of the first Catalan flora (Flora de Catalunya), the launching of the firts Spanish botanical journals (Cavallinesia and Collectanea Botanica). They also serve for in-depth study of projects involving the generation of collections of flora: Flora Iberica Selecta, Flora Hispanica, Herbario de España and the exsiccatae Iter Maroccanum and Index Seminum.

Notable among the documents, is the large volume of scientific correspondence between botanists, collectors and botany enthusiasts. The content of these letters is of great historical value, and are excellent examples of the nature of these studies with respect to the private lives and activities of botanists. The letters provide detailed information on the exchange of observations amongst botanists on plant species, news, controversies and characterizations of thousands of species. These are presented in parallel with the selection of relevant data in collection works. Furthermore, they reveal the relations between botanists, the established networks of collectors, the role of scientific and academic societies and the advent of the first specialist publications on botany as drivers of popularization of naturalist knowledge.


  • Currently, you can search in the catalogue of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) Libraries Network for personal documents of botanists Joan Cadevall Diars, Josep Cuatrecasas Arumí, Carlos Pau Espanyol and Frederic Trèmols Borrell, as well as the manuscripts related to the Flora de Catalunya project within the Junta de Ciències Naturals collection.
  • The rest of archival documents are under inventory and management.
Provisions for access and reprography
  • All documents are freely accessible, except those containing personal data that might affect the safety, honor, privacy or image of the concerned people (Act 10/2001 on archives and documents, DOGC no. 3437, of 24/07/2001; Regulations of the Municipal System of Archives of Barcelona City Council, of 3/03/2011; and Regulation on Public Access to Municipal Documents, BOPB of 11/08/2014). In order to consult such documents, the express authorization from the IBB is required.
  • Terms and conditions regarding reprographic services are subject to the state of conservation of the documents and to the provisions of the Intellectual Property Act.