The IPCE Photo Library is composed of more than 700,000 photographic documents whose chronology covers from the 1860s to the present.
At present, the improvement in the conservation and accessibility of many collections and backgrounds of photography present in archives and libraries is very significant. The current needs for the conservation of photographic heritage in the archives are based on the need to address mass work programs, given the high volume of photographic heritage that is held in this type of institution, and the need to look for work formulas organized in short, medium and long-term programs. From this need the IPCE Photo Library was born, as the medium that brings together in its archive a large quantity of photographic collections of the Spanish Historical Heritage to be digitized. The digitized archives are accessible through Hispana and are incorporated into the European digital library Europeana, as well as the virtual catalog of the Historical Heritage Photo Library. The archive's background is made up of 700,000 photographic documents specialized in Cultural Heritage, of which 150,000 are cataloged, digitized and accessible through the web. All digitized images are of high quality and are associated with basic catalog data, such as location, authorship of the photographic document, its place of production, etc. The creation of this microsite, together with an intense work of cataloging and digitizing the photographic background, allows deepening the knowledge of the collection, as well as guaranteeing its preservation and promoting its dissemination and public enjoyment.

Resources needed

The budget for ten years: 200,000 € in 2015 and 400,000 € per annuity until 2025 (3,800,000 € total). The resources will be destined fundamentally to: Research and documentation (20%); Institutional Collaboration (40%) and Training and Dissemination (40%).

Evidence of success

The images are for consultation in the public domain. Participate in Europeana. 150000 photographic documents digitized to date and available on the web. More than 1000 visits daily consultations to its online catalog. We can access the catalog and part of its funds through its website, allowing us to search by author, file (both from a detachable list) or geographical terms. The photo library is composed of 14 backgrounds or main files. In addition to the web consultation,

Potential for learning or transfer

It is possible to transfer two of its novel methods to other organizations:
A system to increase the number of your funds by boosting donations, achieving enormous success.
Another element to highlight is its dissemination strategy, since it has chosen to upload its content to various institutional websites depending on its theme, thereby managing to adjust its content to the profiles of different platforms and improve its visibility. An example is the web:
Despite the fact that the IPCE Photo Library is indexed in various aggregators, this collaborative work, sharing its funds with other public institutions, has been entirely positive as it has managed to increase visits and speed up searches. The main reason was to avoid that the heterogeneity of the set of its archival collections on its native website and its enormous volume could deter the inexperienced user.

Please login to see the expert opinion of this good practice.

Main institution
Ministry of Culture and Sports
Comunidad de Madrid, Spain (España)
Start Date
June 2011
End Date


Please login to contact the author.