Interview with Isidre López
Isidre López, head of the SEAT Historic Car Collection
One of SEAT’s best-kept secrets is its historical archive. Relics of the past in every conceivable format coexist in a space that has been adapted to preserve what is considered the living history of the company. Isidre López, head of SEAT’s Historical Car Collection, reveals the content and importance of this archive.
What’s in the SEAT historical archive?
SEAT’s historical archive contains 193,739 documents, photos and videos that are related to the company’s history, from paper and slides to audio and film tapes. Due to the abundance and diversity of the material, we must control that they are kept in adequate atmospheric conditions in terms of temperature and humidity and therefore we use approved treatments for their conservation.
How do you maintain such a large archive?
With a lot of devotion and time. Although it may seem impossible, the archive continues to grow to this day. We receive many documents and files and are working to digitise them as they arrive. Technological advances help us a lot in this respect: recently, on the occasion of SEAT’s 70th anniversary, we were able to colour several videos shot in black and white in the late 50s. The result is amazing and a valuable enhancement to see the contrast between the past and the present.
What’s the purpose of an archive like the ne SEAT has?
Precisely to capture the evolution of the company over time. This evolution is undoubtedly a reflection of the progressive change in society, alongside which SEAT has advanced since the beginning. For example, in the field of manufacturing, processes have changed a great deal: many more cars are now manufactured, which are much more technically complex, and this responds to a greater demand from society and a continuous effort to implement R&D&I.
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