Making the National Heritage Institute’s archives accessible

Good-quality heritage conservation requires thorough knowledge of the objects being cared for. The National Heritage Institute has for many years (in the case of some of its predecessors, practically for a hundred years) systematically collected and sorted historical evidence relating to monuments, their use, alterations and so on.

The collections, depositories and files of the National Heritage Institute thus house a large number of historical construction plans, the results of various surveys, deeds and other valuable documents. The photographic archive of the National Heritage Institute, for example, contains over a million photographs, including seventy thousand valuable glass negatives, some of them from the end of the 19th century, and thousands of negatives and slides. The National Heritage Institute’s collections also contain maps, registers and field sketches, including some incredibly rare and unique historical items.

Most of the documents can be consulted only at the place where they are housed – in other words at the regional specialist branch of the National Heritage Institute in the region where the monument is located. Some of the deeds, historical photographs, plans and other documents, however, have been digitalised and are available on-line.