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Maria Mercè Costa i Paretas (1923-2020)

Maria Mercè Costa i Paretas

Maria Mercé Costa i Paretas, director of the Archives of the Crown of Aragon from 1983 until her retirement in 1988, died in Barcelona on April 10 at the age of 97.

Born in Gerona in 1923, she graduated in Philosophy and Letters from the University of Barcelona in 1949. In 1954, she entered the Facultative Body of Archivists, Librarians and Archaeologists by opposition. After her stay in the Archives of the Audience of Navarra, the Tax Office of Pamplona and the Provincial Archaeological Museum of Gerona, in 1961 he obtained a post in the Archives of the Crown of Aragon, where he would develop her professional career from then until her retirement. Between 1964 and 1981 she was secretary of the Archive, to later serve as deputy director between 1981 and 1983, and, finally, director from the latter date until 1988.

During all these years, her archival work focused on the rich documentation of religious and military orders preserved in the ACA. We owe her a good number of inventories of volumes and scrolls from monastic archives, as well as research guides. Based on her excellent knowledge of the medieval documentation of the Archive, he developed a fruitful task of historical research in parallel, with very varied interests as reflected in the hundred titles of her bibliography. In her the studies of monastic institutions abound, especially feminine, as well as historical investigations on the nobility, like the centered one in the house of Xérica, that was object of her doctoral thesis. He also showed special interest in the abundant documentation of Sardinia kept in the Archive. She was an active participant in national and international history congresses and also had a relevant institutional role for many years as secretary and member of the Permanent Commission of the Crown of Aragon History Congresses. With her patient and discreet work, she contributed to the international projection of the Archive.

With Mercé Costa disappears one of the last representatives of a generation of outstanding archivists and archivists who in difficult times maintained the prestige of the profession and carried out a very meritorious work, not always sufficiently valued.

Selected bibliography PDF

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