Eduard Toda and the librarians in the laundry room : love, patronage and book restoration with your sleeves rolled up

Diplomat, Egyptologist, writer and historian, Eduard Toda is remembered as the man who rescued the Algherese dialect of Catalan from oblivion and who helped rebuild the monastery libraries of Escornalbou and Poblet. On the occasion of the seventy-fifth anniversary of his death, this paper reviews Toda's book collecting activities, his general love of books and his outstanding work as a benefactor of libraries, which together contributed to enriching our country's book heritage. The paper then turns to Toda's relationship with the school for librarians the Escola de Bibliotecàries, which was founded thanks to his donation of a number of book collections to the Library of Catalonia. As recorded in the archives of the old Escola, this relationship was based on a number of different activities: Toda's trips to Escornalbou, which also provided an opportunity for cultural study; his organization of periods of residence for student librarians at Poblet to help rebuild the monastery's library; his creation of classes in book restoration in degree courses in librarianship; and the creation of a workshop for restoring library materials, which for many decades helped to link the Escola and the Library of Catalonia. Finally, as the article shows, Toda's ties with the Escola de Bibliotecàries were reinforced by the mutual affection existing between him and the school as well as by the activities he organized with its students, which gave the school its singular nature as a place of study during the 1930s.