Col·lecció Joaquim Cabezas

Joaquim Cabezas collection

Joaquim Cabezas Rectoret (Barcelona, 1935)

Studied drawing and engraving at Escola Massana in Barcelona. Photography historian and collector.

The Joaquim Cabezas Rectoret collection conserved in INSPAI contains photographs taken from 1860 to 1950, with various procedures and supports, such as gelatin POP and glass plate, albumen paper, plastic negatives, etc. The subject matter is varied and includes individual and group portraits, as well as views of towns and villages in Girona Province, e.g. stereoscopic series of the Girona Pyrenees, Núria Valley, Girona city and Ripoll, and a wide range of photographs of the Costa Brava (on paper, plastic or glass) showing natural and urban landscapes along the coast before the tourism boom in the 1960s.

Area of identification
Reference code
Level of description
Joaquim Cabezas collection
Inclusive dates: 1860-1950
Volume and support
287 photographs in total: 113 glass plates, 12 plastic negatives, and 157 positives on paper, in black and white, from 4.5 × 11 cm to 24 × 32 cm, gelatin prints, collodion aristotypes, and albumens; 4 framed photographs with positives on paper and metal, in black and white, 4.5 × 7 cm format, albumens; and 1 postcard.
Context area
Name of producer(s)
Joaquim Cabezas Rectoret
Producer history
Joaquim Cabezas Rectoret (Barcelona, 1935) was trained in drawing and engraving at the Escola Massana art and design school in Barcelona. In the 1970s, he moved to the city of Tarragona, where he became a member of the Agrupació Fotogràfica de Tarragona (Tarragona Photography Association), which he was later president of. In 1970, he began to take photographs and carry out research on the history of photography. That same year, he began to compile his own collection, which up until now he has been increasing and selling. He has taught photography courses and participated in contests, earning the EFIAP excellence distinction (from the International Federation of Photographic Art), as well as serving as judge in many others. He was also named honorary member of the Federació Catalana de Fotografia (Catalan Photography Federation). He has carried out historical research on old photography, on pioneer photographers in Tarragona province and in the city of Barcelona, on the history of the Barcelona-based photographer Napoleon, and on travelling photographers from the beginning of the 20th century. Within the field of this history research, he is the author of the work Pioners de la fotografia a Tarragona 1840-1940, pending publication. In terms of dissemination, he has collaborated in numerous exhibitions such as La fotografia ambulant 1880-1980 (Travelling photography: 1880-1980) and Setmana Santa (Holy Week), and in 2008 he participated in the SCAN international photography festival in Tarragona, with talks and slide projections. Joaquim Cabezas has gathered a significant collection of photographs, especially portraits from the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century by important photographers such as Napoleon (Barcelona) and other photographers from Catalonia and Spain. He has also gathered photographs of vistas of Catalonia and Spain, and today he focuses a lot on vistas of Tarragona province. In addition, he has a large collection of old magazines and other varied materials. In 2000, he sold a group of photographs related to Girona province to the Provincial Council, and on 22 May 2007, he lent another group of photographs and material related to the city of Tarragona to the Arxiu Històric de Tarragona (Historical Archive of Tarragona). Today, he continues to sell his collection.
Archive history
This collection was kept in the collector's home. The images on glass were kept in original photographic material boxes and the paper and plastic images were stored in sleeves and in folders organised and listed by zones and by types of material: postcards, stereoscopic images, or older photographs such as albumens. In 2000, Girona Provincial Council bought a small part of the collection of photographs related to Girona province. The treatment of the images began in 2001. They were given code numbers and described using an inventory of all of the images in order to make them available for public consultation. In 2002, 35 mm polyester copies and paper copies in black and white with an 8 × 24 cm format were made of the 113 glass plates. In 2008, they were cleaned, restored, and placed in permanent preservation material: lignin-free paper covers with four flaps and cardboard permanent preservation boxes (one 9 × 13 cm box and two 6 × 13 cm boxes). They have not been mixed with other fonds. The paper was cleaned with a dust blower and a thin paintbrush, and remainders of glue or insect excrement were removed with a scalpel. Next, the material was relocated to polyester sleeves in cardboard preservation folders. There are five folders corresponding to the different formats: 10 × 15 cm, 13 × 18 cm, 18 × 24 cm, 6 × 13 cm, and small formats. In 2009, the collection was recorded in the provenance register and in 2010 the photographic processes were identified, the reports were grouped, and the loose images that did not correspond to any report were separated. This work resulted in a new arrangement of the images, though maintaining the original order. The images were placed in six boxes: 1 to 3 contained glass plates; 4 and 6 contained paper and plastic; and 5 contained four framed images. The images were numbered from 1 to the end of the fonds, and from the first box until the last one. This numbering did not serve to group the material into reports, and it was changed to the old numbering written on the envelopes and in other records in the distributed database. They were given the number of the box they corresponded to and a new record number that corresponded to the envelope they were in and their order within the envelope, which at the same time corresponded to the initial order of the box, and each box began the order with 1. For example: 001_001_002 / 002_001_001 / 003_001_001. The item-level description of all of the images and reports was added to the Centre¿s general database. Later, a classification chart was prepared, which should be revised. All of the relocated material was catalogued and the images were transferred to the permanent preservation repositories: the glass plates and plastic in repository 1 and paper in repository 2. In 2010, the paper copies of the glass plates (made in 2002) were digitised. Since they were high-quality, it was considered better to digitise these copies rather than to handle the glass plates again. Between 2012 and 2013, the rest of the collection was digitised. The paper images were digitised using the Hasselblad Flextight X5 printer, while the paper images on rigid supports and the framed images were digitised using the Phase One camera. Currently, the original photographs are held in the INSPAI preservation repositories.
Details of entry
Date: 2000 Method: Purchase Provenance: Joaquim Cabezas Rectoret
Content area and structure
Scope and content
The collection acquired from Joaquim Cabezas gathers photographs from the period 1860-1950. The subject matter is varied: individual and group portraits; views of towns in Girona, such as the series of stereoscopic images of the Girona Pyrenees, the Núria Valley, the city of Girona, and the city of Ripoll; and a large variety of photographs of the Costa Brava on paper, plastic, and glass, which show natural and urban landscapes along the coast before the urban development boom. Geographically, the collection is mainly focused on Girona province.
Conditions for access and use area
Conditions for access
Free and open access.
Related documentation area
Related documentation
Control of description area
Author and date(s)
SGM, November 2010. Revised in May 2013.
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Plaça de l'Hospital, 6 - 17002 Girona. Tel. 972 185 058 / 972 185 000 consultes@inspai.catconsultes@inspai.cat
Location Legal notice Diputació de Girona 2018