EFE’s extensive archive, which is located at the agency’s headquarters in Madrid, has received the honorable mention EFE 80 YEARS that was granted unanimously by the jury of the King of Spain Awards for Journalism 2020 for its historic importance. As the decision affirms, the archive gathers the work worldwide of thousands of the agency’s professionals and represents not only the history of EFE, but also that of Spain and the world, carefully guarded by those responsible for the agency and preserved by all EFE presidents over the past 80 years.
It contains 20 million photographs, 24 million news items and documents, and 300,000 videos documented and digitized. The most important events with their protagonists over the last 120 years are stored in this archive in various formats, which constitutes a documentary set of high historical value, unique of its kind, as there is no other with these characteristics.
The Historical Graphic Archive is made up of 12 million images that go from the end of the 19th century until 1998, contained in glass and celluloid plates, negatives, slides and photographs on paper. The analog material is in compact containers, in conditions of temperature and humidity suitable for conservation. The oldest photograph is a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II at the age of 27, dated 1857.
The digitalization of the old material is carried out partly by the agency itself, and also with agreements with institutions and companies. Google has just digitized more than 15,000 images of the collection related to World War II, of great historical value. The Agency, throughout its history, has completed its collection with photographs from public or private archives, which it has acquired or received as donations. Among others, in the 1990s it acquired 3,000 negatives from Juan Guzmán -Hans Gutmann-, a republican photographer of German origin representing one of the best collections from the Spanish Civil War.
The Efe Archive has established itself as a benchmark database, images and videos of reference and has been made available commercially. The Photo Library (Fototeca) compiles 3,500 images daily of current affairs and the Data Bank about 700 documents per day, which include all EFE services, including regional and other languages. One hundred daily videos are also documented. In addition, requests for archived material by the Agency’s journalists are dealt with as well as requests from the agency’s clients through commercial channels..
But beyond its historical value, the EFE Archive represents the company’s memory and the Agency’s journalists have access to the work he or she did years ago, the same goes for photos and videos, as well as new ways of news gathering that unify formats..
Thanks to the metadata with which everything is archived, new products are made based on the potential of each area, such as the analysis bulletin for embassies, Efedocanalisis, and other on-demand products, apart from our presence in social networks, such as the photo archive, videos with embedded captions with photos and the Ephemeris (almanac) newsletters.
In short, the EFE archive uses the past to project itself into the future.