Researching the archive, studying family history: a doctoral research project on the viscondes de Vila Nova de Cerveira e Marqueses de Ponte de Lima archive

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Abstract

This article briefl y presents and discusses some problems, theoretical questions and methodologies relating to the author’s PhD research, currently being developed at the FCSH/NOVA and at the École nationale des chartes. The main objective of this research is to study the archive of the viscounts of Vila Nova de Cerveira and marquises of Ponte de Lima, analyzing the social and the institutional history of the families that produced it between the fourteenth and the seventeenth century (when their house became consolidated). The aim is to determine the “sociogenetic” role of the archive for these family groups and for this house. With this in mind, an in-depth analysis of this archive is being carried out fi rstly as an attempt to reconstruct the informational production of the families that were both at the origin of the house of the viscounts and that later came to integrate it, and secondly to determine how that information was transformed into documents and into archive(s) throughout this period. This approach assesses new ways of archive research as infl uenced by the tournant documentaire, the archival turn, and the documentary history of institutions. Consequently, it tests the recent confl uence of theories and methodologies in History and Archival Science/Information Science for the analysis of archives, which have become known collectively as the social history of archives and information, and, in Portugal, as Historical Archivistics.

Neste texto apresentam-se e discutem-se, sucintamente, alguns problemas, questões teóricas e metodologias relacionados com a nossa investigação de doutoramento, que está a ser desenvolvida na FCSH/NOVA e na École nationale des chartes. Esta tem como principal objetivo o estudo do arquivo “Viscondes de Vila Nova de Cerveira e Marqueses de Ponte de Lima”, e a análise da história social e institucional das famílias que o produziram desde o século XIV até à consolidação da Casa titular no século XVII, de modo a determinar o papel sociogenético que o arquivo assumiu no percurso destes grupos familiares e desta Casa. Estamos a realizar um estudo aprofundado deste arquivo tendo em vista a reconstrução da produção informacional das famílias que estiveram na origem ou se uniram à Casa dos Viscondes e da transformação dessa informação em documentos e em arquivo(s) ao longo deste período. Desta maneira, procuramos testar novas formas de perspetivar o arquivo infl uenciadas pelo tournant documentaire, pelo archival turn, pela história documental das instituições e, consequentemente, pela recente confl uência de teorias e metodologias da História e da Arquivística no estudo de arquivos, que tem sido designada como história social dos arquivos e da informação ou, em Portugal, como Arquivística Histórica.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRecovered Voices, newfound questions
Subtitle of host publicationFamily archives and Historical Research
EditorsLurdes Rosa, Rita Sampaio da Nóvoa, Alice Borges Gago, Maria João da Câmara
Place of PublicationCoimbra
PublisherUniversidade de Coimbra
Pages199-225
Number of pages26
ISBN (Electronic)978-989-26-1793-0
ISBN (Print)978-989-26-1793-0
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019

Keywords

  • History of archives
  • Family archives
  • Fourteenth to seventeenth centuries
  • History of nobility
  • Viscounts of Vila Nova de Cerveira and marquises of Ponte de Lima

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