Open to the public on the 25th of August, 1987, the Arquivo Histórico Municipal de Cascais (AHMC) aims the collection, organization, care, preservation and dissemination of all papers which are at his custody and that claim to be preserved permanently and that are fundamental to build the past of the Municipality. Therefore in addition to the management of documents produced and received by the Municipality of Cascais in the exercise of his activities, AHMC must still treat all documentation considered relevant to the effect which is received by purchase, donation or deposit, as well as improve the promotion of editions, exhibitions and conferences related to the collections or to the local history.
In 2008, based on the X-arq, software that complies with ISAD (G) - International Standard for Archival Description and ISAAR (CPF) - International Standard for Archival Authority Entries of Entities, Individuals and Families – AHMC started a computerized project that led to the creation of the Cascais Digital Historical Archives (AHDC), which can be accessed in http://www.cm-cascais.pt/arquivohistoricodigital. AHDC joined to other important municipal archives like Casa Reynaldo dos Santos/Irene Quilhó dos Santos and Museu da Música Portuguesa – Casa Verdades de Faria. Through this new functionality in constant update were thus accessible by a click, descriptions and digitalization of thousands of documents that can be searched by different levels in our database. AHMC also joined the Municipal Geographical Information System (SIG), to simplify the search for files of private works, that can be accessed by http://sig.cm-cascais.pt by selecting Temas/Cultura/Arquivo Histórico – Processos de obra, and choosing de desired area of the map. In order to improve that tool and share resources, we’ve created an interface SIG/X-arq, which allows geo-tagging of new types of documents from databases providing remote research modalities that respond to identified needs among users.
Through PRADIM – Programa de Recuperação de Arquivos e Documentos de Interesse Municipal (Recovery Program of Files and Municipal Interest Documents) – AHMC has since 2006 collected by deposit or donation relevant documentation to the maintenance of collective memory, such is the case of some archives like those from the Architect Silva Júnior (Casa do Alentejo), Associação Escola 31 de Janeiro, Ambassador Armando Martins Janeira, General Jacinto Parreira, Associação Naval de Lisboa, Clube Naval de Lisboa, Colégio da Bafureira, Federação Portuguesa de Remo, Hotel Palácio, Junta de Freguesia de Cascais, Junta de Turismo da Costa do Estoril, Luís Marques e Susan Lowndes, Writer Cacilda Celso, Painter Eduardo Leite and Sociedade de Educação Social de S. João do Estoril, as part of the collections as follow: António Capucho, José Santos Fernandes, Maria Albertina Madruga e Manuel Eugénio Fernandes da Silva, that have been or still are being treated in view to making them available to all interested.
The works in process of classification, description, indexation, digitalization and accessibility in presence or remote, will be the basis for the project of the transformation of the present AHMC into the future Local History Center, that will be reinstalled in Casa Henrique Sommer in Cascais. There we will provide the consultation of all documentation to all interested, in a space specifically designed for this purpose and then living free the place where AHMC is since 2003, in Multiservice Compound of Adroana. This then would allow
a better and wide use of the Municipal Intermediate Archives. The Municipality took administrative possession of the future new building, which represents a good example of the summer construction of late nineteenth century and already classified as building of municipal interest, that is now designated of Casa Henrique Sommer from the name and in honor of his first owner.
The plan of works will be focus on the rehabilitation, conservation and restoration of interiors and exteriors as well, providing them with conditions of functionality, comfort and safety, with respect for the original design of the building and construction systems already existing. The future Local History Center/Centro de História Local/Cascais Historical Municipal Archives will be organized into three distinct areas of operation: a public area and administration area that will be installed in the main building, comprising 3 floors and a
basement; an area reserved for the technical work, installed in the building of the old stables and an area for the deposit, to be built underground between these two other buildings. Their adaptation will provide good conditions for preservation, treatment and diffusion of the valuable documentation preserved, in a close relationship with other cultural, artistic and leisure equipment like Cidadela de Cascais (Citadel of Cascais), Museu do Mar – Rei D. Carlos I (Maritime Museum – Rei D. Carlos I), Centro Cultural de Cascais (Cultural Center of Cascais), Museu-Biblioteca Condes de Castro Guimarães (Museum-Library Condes de Castro Guimarães), Casa de Santa Maria, Farol-Museu de Santa Marta (Lighthouse-Museum of Santa Marta) and Casa das Histórias Paula Rego (Paula Rego Museum).