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Different archival fonds

The documents indexed in the MedCat database are conserved in a large number of historical archives all over the Catalan Countries and Aragon, which are extremely heterogeneous in nature: royal, municipal, notarial, ecclesiastic and patrimonial (in particular noble). They have been found, summarized and, in some cases, transcribed, by different researchers for the purpose of basing their personal research, that of their group, or that of third parties on them. Conscious of the value of MedCat for the survival and the joint exploitation of this material, they have made the decision to add to it this information gathered over the years, in some cases during an entire lifetime of research.

At the present time, MedCat groups together or will group together the personal research documents of Antoni Cardoner i Planas, Luis García Ballester, Michael R. McVaugh, Lluís Cifuentes, Carmel Ferragud, Antoni Contreras Mas, Carles Vela Aulesa, David Nirenberg, Gemma Escribà, Gabriel Ensenyat, Miquel Deyà and María Luz López Terrada. The resource, however, is open to the incorporation of other material and the screening from publications is also envisaged.

Heterogeneous form

This diversity in the provenance of the indexed information is reflected in the format in which MedCat offers it, given that the task of completing it or verifying it on the original sources is in no way manageable, even though part of the digital archives of the deposits that conserve them can now be consulted.

In some cases, the complete or partial transcription of the document is offered, although they are not finished editions but working transcriptions, together with the summary of the content. However, more often than not only the summary is provided. The summaries are also heterogeneous. As well as extensive summaries, which provide information about all the essential elements of the document (people, places and events), there are other extremely laconic ones, which give their main data at least (names of the doctors or other health workers, places of work, location of the document), enough to be able to expand them with the consultation of the original source, if desired.


The digitization of this heterogeneous documentary corpus in the MedCat database has been adapted to the way in which the researchers collected it and described it for their personal uses. 

Nevertheless, the conversion of these materials into records of a relational database has made it necessary to make certain changes in order to facilitate the consultation and full exploitation of the corpus, and homogeneous labelling has been introduced, making it possible to conduct thematic searches and other more complex ones. Moreover, with the aim of ensuring its wide dissemination, the database can be queried and consulted in Catalan and English.