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Background · Background · Portal CDT

Historia 1

The Theatre Documentation Centre was created in 1971 to, above all, be used as a deposit for all documents belonging to State archives, which were some way connected to performing arts. It, therefore, inherited photographic, phonographic and printed collections (posters, programmes…) of the so-called National Theatres and Festivals of Spain (an autonomous organism assigned to various ministries until its disappearance), together with an extensive library collection; these collections have been growing since then, through a wide variety of acquisitions and donations. Initially, the Centre occupied a very small office in the Teatro María Guerrero of Madrid under the management of Vicente Amadeo, who was also in charge of the Teatro Nacional de Cámara y Ensayo. The entity, as it is known today, started to take shape when César Oliva was appointed director of the Centre in 1979. In 1983 Moisés Pérez Coterillo was appointed when the CDT (Theatre Documentation Centre) took over a magazine for ten years (1983-1992), which became a reference for understanding theatre in Spain of that decade: El público.

fotoHistoria3.jpgFollowing El Público, the CDT offered over these years, such significant publications as Cuadernos teatrales, obras teatrales, and also Guía Teatral de España, an important link with America and the stages of two worlds, plus the hallmark of the Theatre Documentation Centre: el Anuario Teatral, which started to be published in 1985 and is the origin of today’s Revista Digital de la Escena. In 1993, Andrés Peláez was appointed director of the CDT, who at that time was the Director of the National Theatre Museum of Almagro, which continued work that was underway and published the important Historia de los Teatros Nacionales. In 1996 Moisés Pérez Coterillo returned as Director of the CDT, but died just a few months after taking over the position. After a short provisional period, Cristina Santolaria was appointed director, who resumed the yearbooks and developed an extensive recuperation programme of publications through anthologies, such as Historia, antología e índices de Primer ActoEl Público, and a range of monographic studies (for example, the study published on Edgard Neville), and at the same time, the “Calderón de la Barca” awards were regularly held.

With the arrival of Julio Huélamo in 2000, many of these lines of work continued (Anuarios, Antología de la revista YorickTíteres de IberoaméricaEl debate de los Teatros Nacionales, Mihura, Alberti...) which in recent years have been completed with editions of multimedia content: Teatro en guerra, Retratos en Blanco y Negro (caricatures of the Theatre). At the same time a series of digitalized facsimile editions started to be developed: El PúblicoTeatroYorickPipirijainaEl Teatro (1900-1905 and 1909-1910). This commitment for digital formats is clearly shown in the extensive digitalization plan of photographs, audio tapes and footage, but particularly in the transversal publication which has best disseminated the work of recent years and the documentary collections of the CDT: the Revista Digital de la Escena, which from 2002, first reached the public in DVD format and today through internet, and which has undoubtedly been the seed of our current Portal.

Today the Centre handles collections of 200,000 photographs, 5,000 DVD recordings, 500,000 classified press releases, 18,000 books…, and at the same time it develops new projects to promote, protect and disseminate performing arts. Here you will find all these projects and participate in them.


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