The Museum of Science and Technology of Catalonia (mNACTEC) has completed the digitisation and documentation of the photographic collection of the Sedó Colony in Esparreguera, comprising more than 600 snapshots covering the final 60 years of the industrial colony's history.
The Sedó Collection covers the timeframe between 1920 and 1970. The themes of the photographs include, among others, the factory installations and premises, machinery, workers' social and leisure events, notable visits and the damage caused by such incidents as the flooding in 1971.
The originals of all these photographs, most of which are positive prints, are conserved in the photographic archive of the mNACTEC, under controlled conservation conditions. The photographs are now available in the online photographic archive of the Museum, accessible via the mNACTEC website. (To access the Sedó Colony Collection: On the website http://fotowebmnactec.cultura.gencat.cat/, select the Historical Background drop-down, click on OK. On the left-hand menu on the next screen, under the research tree, select Sedó Colony Collection).
The Sedó Colony was founded in 1846 and remained operational up until 1980, when the crisis in the textile sector led its factory to close down for good. A small part of Can Sedó has now been turned into a museum by the mNACTEC, while the remainder of the colony is used as an industrial estate by various enterprises.
Always located alongside a river to take advantage of the energy provided by the watercourses, these industrial colonies made it possible to establish a system of labour organisations and social relationships facilitating the absence of the major labour conflicts which occurred in city factories. In exchange, the colonies provided workers with facilities and services that were not always available to workers at factories in urban settings. With more than a hundred years of industrial activity behind it, Can Sedó offers a fine example of the history of the textiles sector in Catalonia, where this type of industrial organisation played a prominent role.