The Museu Arxiu and Tomàs Balvey

TOMÀS BALVEY AND THE CREATION OF THE MUSEUM

Tomàs Balvey i Bas (Cardedeu, 09/21/1865 to 11/22/1954) was the son, grandson and great grandson of pharmacists. When he was fifteen, after the death of his father, he began working at the pharmacy, too. He dedicated his life to his profession, helping to improve the health conditions of the inhabitants of Cardedeu. In addition, he was actively involved in cultural activities, including the study of local history.

Tomàs Balvey always had great interest in collecting and promoting the history of Cardedeu, from great events to the details of everyday life. This concern led him to contribute to numerous newspapers, magazines and cultural institutions both in the region and in Barcelona. He collaborated with the Museum of Natural History in Barcelona, the Meteorological Network of Catalunya in the Balearic Islands, the Institute of Catalan Studies, the Library of Catalunya, the Barcelona Council, the Royal Catalan Academy of Art and Sciences, the Agricultural Institute of San Isidro, the Catalan Excursion Centre, the Barcelona Society for the Promotion of Science, and the Museum and Library of Granollers, among others.

He likewise worked extensively with the media, particularly local and regional publications such as the Dietari de Cardedeu, Fulles de roure, El Congost, La Gralla, La Veu del Vallés, Valles and Fulla Casolana–which he himself edited. Among the national media, Balvey worked with La Renaixença, La Veu de Catalunya and La Vanguardia.

Since his youth, Tomàs Balvey had been collecting material relating to the history and archaeology of Cardedeu. As he explained, one of his first collections was that of historical garments which he had inherited from his family. He then moved on to collect documents, archaeological and architectural fragments, ceramics, photographs, etc.

In 1899, compelled by his collector’s spirit and the desire to desseminate knowledge, he conceived of a library to complement his growing collection. This was the origin of the Academic Museum Library, which was created a year later at his home on the road from Caldes (now Avenue Rei en Jaume). His legacy today is the Tomàs Balvey Museum and Archive.