The Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC) is the largest research performing organization in the Spanish science system. The institution produces archival documentation as a result of the administrative and scientific activity carried out in its institutes. Its most immediate historical precedent is the Junta de Ampliación de Estudios created in 1907, whose scientific project is documented in some CSIC archives.
Since 1998, a process of recovery and dissemination of the historical archive collections has been carried out, creating for this purpose the automated CSIC's Archive Catalog , which currently holds more than 139,000 records and around 82,500 digitaized images from the original documentation with on-line access. These collections are a source of basic information for historical research on scientific policy, and the diversity of documentary collections generated by the scientists attached to the institution are unique testimonies that allow us tobetter know the different fileds of reserach over the years.
The development of the CSIC's Historical Archives initiative is a work in progress and involves the gradual incorporation of the different archival collections held in archives, libraries and other CSIC's departments into a common enhancement project.
The coordination and development of the CSIC Archives Project is carried out by the Unit of Scientific Information Resources for Research within the scope established by the regulations of the Organisation. In 2012 an "Action Plan for CSIC Archives" was drawn up, with the aim of providing, institutionally and for the first time, a theoretical framework applied to the archival situation of the CSIC, based on the different regulations, guidelines and standards that exist within the treatment of archive documentation. Its main objective was the recovery of the scientific documentary heritage dispersed throughout the complex structure of the institution, encouraging the collaboration of information professionals to transmit to scientists the historical projection of their activities as part of the written memory of CSIC research.
There are currently 16 CSIC Archives that provide services to users, including some with a long history and others that have only recently begun to process their documentation, usually held in the libraries or transferred to them from the management. All of them are describing their collections in the CSIC's Archives Catalog to disseminate this heritage and make it accessible to users.