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The National Historical Archive
Nobility Section

Introduction to the documentary resources of the National Historical Archive Nobility Section

Nobility archives are the expression of a noble family's history and memory. They are the archives of great and powerful families, the owners of vast estates and titles that grow more powerful and ever greater through marital alliances with other families of their own social rung or higher. This justifies our calling nobility archives the "archives of archives" because they are not the archives of a single family, but rather the sum of all of the document collections of the different noble houses and titles which, for a variety of reasons have accumulated in a single lineage over several generations.

They record their members' personal and public activities, the management of their estates and the use of their noble prerogatives and powers. As a social group, the nobility is an essential element to understand Spain's history. The central role they have played socially and economically over many centuries has generated an enormous amount of documentation, rich in all sorts of information that could be lost if it does not receive the appropriate expert care. With the passage of time, these archives have acquired the status of historical archives, the importance of which transcends the family itself. The scientific know-how they provide, thanks to the fact that they have been made available for research purposes, contributes to a better understanding and conservation of the documentary heritage of Spain.


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