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Spanish History of Historiography – Recent Development



The history of historiography has become a wide research field in the last few decades. The well known German, French or English cases have strongly attracted the interest of international specialists. Regarding Spanish historiography, however, studies in languages other than Spanish remain rare. Although research in Spain has made some major contributions in this regard in the past 20 years, for many scholars the history of Spanish historiography appears as a hermetically closed and unstudied field. In an effort to clear up this misconception, this article provides an overview over recent research developments. It uses the main publications as a guideline for an introduction into the Spanish history of historiography since the 19th century while referring to the main subjects of interest, the perspectives, and the debates within the research field. Following the areas of focus prevailing in this field, this article refers to the emergence of liberal historiography in the 19th century, the later processes of professionalisation and institutionalisation, the historians′ contribution to the construction of national identities as well as to the impact of the Spanish Civil War (1936–1939) and the regime of Francisco Franco (1939–1975) on Spanish historiography in the 20th century. It underlines the importance of the international intellectual horizon for a better understanding of the development of historiography in Spain and concludes by identifying comparative and transfer approaches as having outstanding potential for further investigation.