The documentary legacy of López Botas, who starred in one of the most relevant pages in the Canarian political history of the 19th century, holds more than 20,000 documentary units based, above all, on an important political correspondence, as well as judicial documents of a diverse nature and references to the cultural and educational life of Gran Canaria, which correspond to the multiple positions that López Botas held throughout his life as deputy, senator and mayor.
The motivation of the family is to make this heritage available to researchers
“We donate this archive because, for many years, we have dedicated a two-story building, which we call the fourth archive, to maintaining the archive of my great-great-grandfather, who was, without a doubt, the best politician of the 19th century, as well as a great lawyer ”, said yesterday Diego Cambreleng Roca, López Botas’s great-great-grandson, who presided over the event on behalf of the entire family, together with Diego López Díaz, president of El Museo Canario, and Fernando Betancor Pérez
One of the reasons for donating this material for its conservation, research and dissemination is “that the younger generations can find out who López Botas was and what he meant for the city”, as well as “make available to researchers and scholars this valuable material on the history of the Canary Islands, especially the 19th century ”.
“Here you find very interesting material,” says Cambreleng, who has examined the files of his great-great-grandfather and highlights “the national projection he achieved during his life. “The documents range from crimes in Gáldar to land rental matters on La Palma belonging to different families, clients or politicians from all over the Archipelago, who corresponded with López Botas,” he explains. “We even found a letter from a Cadiz prison, in which a prisoner asked him to interfere with his situation, which reflects that his figure was highly recognized at the national level,” he adds.
For his part, Betancor highlighted yesterday at El Museo Canario that this material “is more than a personal archive of López Botas”, since it houses numerous “small files” that refer to each of the activities that he developed during his life and “whose content is enormously valuable.”
“Here you find a very interesting material”, assures Diego Cambreleng
In this sense, the technician explained that the content could be categorized into three fundamental lines: the file of a jurist, that of a politician and, finally, a third section that represents their concerns about the culture and education of the Isla. However, “as it is a private archive, this material will go to the section of personal archives kept in the museum, which holds approximately 40 personal collections”, indicates Betancor, who stressed that “the archive of López Botas adds enormous value to those that are already kept in the museum ”.
The Cambreleng Roca family delivered some materials at the beginning of 2020 to undertake some archival work prior to the formal donation. During these months, 4000 documentary units have already been processed and digitized, which is a great approach to the complete organization, description, digitization, custody, conservation and dissemination, Betancor pointed out. “We still have material to deliver, which gives an idea of the magnitude of the project,” concluded the great-great-grandson.