A visit to the Gipuzkoa heritage collections centre.

Gordailua is the heritage collections centre for the province of Gipuzkoa. The centre is housed in a large facility, with a floor space of approximately 9,000 square metres (97,000 square feet). Its mission is to preserve items of local historical and heritage value for future generation whilst also allowing access to researchers and the general public.

Gordailua provides unified management for collections belonging to different individuals and organisations. It is also a resource centre, working with and for the province's museum network to ensure resource optimisation and sustainability.

Gordailua houses the art and ethnographical collections of the provincial government, the San Telmo Museum and many other organisations. Altogether it is home to over 65,000 items.

The province's archaeological and palaeontological materials were moved to the facility in 2015, having previously been managed by the Provincial Government. The items, which come from over 1,100 sites, are housed in over 10,000 cases.

To ensure proper conservation, the centre registers, labels and photographs each item, compiling as much information as possible on each one.

All ethnographic and artistic items and the cases containing archaeological and palaeontological remains are geo-referenced with QR codes and cross-referenced with the Gordailua heritage database.

Items can be conditioned, secured and restored in the art, ethnography, archaeology and palaeontology restoration workshops.

In addition, there are special rooms with tanks for desalinating materials from underwater excavations and for stabilising waterlogged wood using PEG and freeze-drying...

...and electrolytic treatment for large metal pieces.

The collections are mainly grouped by type and are conditioned and stored appropriately for their size and shape (in shelves, show cases, map-cabinets, drawers, rollers, picture holders, etc.).

They are housed in eight different depositories according to their size and temperature and humidity requirements. Altogether, they occupy an area of over 6,000 square metres.

In the general depositories, the pieces are kept at a temperature of 18-20º C and a relative humidity of under 60%. There are also special rooms with specific conditions for metals, paper and fabrics.

The centre is open to anyone interested in examining or researching the items. There is a consultation room with study equipment and a library. The catalogue of the art and ethnography collection can be consulted at the centre.

Gordailua also plays an educational role, with guided tours, exhibitions, lectures and workshops.

The centre's ultimate aim is to showcase the items of different ages, materials and types that make up Gipuzkoa's cultural heritage and ensure that they are preserved in the best possible conditions.

Gordailua, Centro de Colecciones Patrimoniales de Gipuzkoa
Credits: Story

Heritage Collections Centre of Gipuzkoa
Provincial Government of Gipuzkoa

Photos of the facilities at Gordailua by Oskar Moreno and Gotzon Aranburu

Photos of the items: Giorgio Studer (Gordailua) and Saioa Cano (Garoa)

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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