Research Lines

Since its foundation in 2006, the ICRPC, its research groups and its researchers have carried out a wide range of activities. The Institute and its members have hosted and organized seminars and symposiums, participated in Spanish and international seminars and congresses, made presentations and given papers, held specialized conferences, carried out studies, published monographic works, undertaken practical museum studies,and promoted a recognized collection of publications including a monographic series and a conference series. Furthermore, the Institute has boosted the presentation of research to society, with diverse science communication activities for a non-specialized public. These kinds of dissemination activities are considered one of the essential priorities of research centres in the current Horizon Europe programme.


The ICPRC’s research has focused on studies of archeology, anthropology, art and history of art, architectural heritage and historical memory, museology and museography, traditional and popular culture, and the social use of heritage.

The objective of the Institute is to maintain and expand these research fields, and to become a leading centre for heritage studies in Catalonia, under the broad perspective of all the implications of heritage, and all debates on this subject.


For this reason, the ICRPC must organize and prioritize its research areas to achieve the highest level of efficacy, visibility and relevance. The starting point forall of the Institute’s work must be the modernsense of the “socialization” of heritage.

On the basis of these initial parameters, the ICRPC will focus its research, promotion, dissemination and analysis of uses of heritage on the following areas:
  • Patrimoni Material

    Tangible heritage

    In the framework of tangible heritage, the research areas will be centred on:

    1. Prehistoric, protohistoric and ancient societies and their legacy.
    2. Artistic production in medieval and modern times.
    3. Architectural heritage, material and intellectual production.
    4. Industrial architecture and the heritagization of obsolete industrial and port areas.
    5. The uses of heritage. Heritage and cultural facilities.
    6. Criteria for the conservation and restoration of heritage.
    7. The destruction of heritage. Heritage in times of war.
    8. Heritage and historical memory. Heritage and propaganda. 
    9. The economic impact of heritage.
  • Patrimoni Material

    Intangible heritage

    In the framework of intangible heritage:

    1. Economic and social change. 
    2. Popular festivals and traditions.
    3. Religiousness and customs.
    4. Traditional societies in a changing world.
    5. The impact of tourism and industrialization on coastal towns.
    6. Fishing, history, historical memory and challenges for the future.
  • Patrimoni Material

    Tools for acting on and analysing heritage

    The tools for acting on and analysing heritage:

    1. Inventories, catalogues and reports of centres, institutes, departments, studies, and facilities related to the heritage of Catalonia.
    2. Sector and regional catalogues of art and heritage.
    3. Databases of good practices in heritage.
    4. Visitors:study and analysis. Definition of strategies for attracting new audiences.
    5. The application of new technologies to the research, dissemination, socialization and evaluation of uses of heritage.

In all these sections, there should be minimum degree of systematization in the ICRPC’s options for research, output and interventions.

However, the Institute’s research groups and staff activities must also focus on some priority areas associated with funding, contracts or grants awarded to the ICRPC.


This consideration of heritage has diverse, often subjective origins, including: individual art production itself;items of tangible heritage that are more directly related to community uses and functions; collective traditional and popular cultural activities; the transmission of heritage, its reuse and plundering; the dialectical process of construction, destruction and reconstruction. These elementsraise intellectual questions that require special attentionWe should associate specific items of heritage with the society, societies, history and socioeconomic contexts in which they were produced, and discover the mechanisms by which some items of heritage are incorporated into the collective imaginary, whilst others are not, after academic work to create frameworks for assessment and interpretation.

We should also establish when and how items of heritage formed by power structures stop being private and exclusive, and become instead elements of a community’s heritage.

Finally, the general areas are summarized below:

  1. Art in danger. Heritage in conflict situations.
  2. Traditional societies in contexts of change.
  3. Destruction and safeguarding of Cultural Heritage.
  4. Tourism and Cultural Heritage.
  5. Heritagization of the historical, artistic, cultural and social traces of Catalonia.
  6. Basic research associated with the specializations of researchers at the Institute.
  7. Traditional and popular culture and its role in the socialization of Contemporary Catalonia.
  8. The audience for cultural heritage and, by extension, the planning, management and evaluation of heritage facilities.

To conclude, we should mention two items. The first is related to the Observatory of Cultural Heritage Audiencesin Catalonia (OPPCC), which has approved its strategic plan for 2014–2016 and its action plan for 2015, and will establish in the heart of the ICRPC a specialized office with its own staff and budget to meet the requirements of the Catalan Ministry of Culture and the needs of museums and cultural facilities in Catalonia that could arise over time.

The second item is the ICRPC’s capacity and expectations in the area of teaching. The Institute’s teaching capacity is currently shown by the presence of its researchers in the course plans of bachelor’s degrees in History, History of Art and Cultural Communication, and in the master’s degree inan Introduction to Research in the Humanities, and ICPRC researchers’ association with the master’s degree in the Management of Cultural Heritage in the Local Area, taught at the Faculty of Arts until academic year 2014/2015.

Frase Negra