La Laguna contributes to the dissemination of local history with the publication of a book dedicated to the Institute of the Canary Islands

The area of Historical Heritage divulges the work of Álvaro Díaz Torres, in which he unravels the evolution of the teaching of Physics and Chemistry in the educational center between 1846 and 1946

The Department of Historical Heritage of La Laguna City Council, directed by Elvira Jorge, has decided to publish the book Un siglo de Física y Química en el Instituto de Canarias de La Laguna (1846-1946), by professor and researcher Álvaro Díaz Torres, to contribute to the rescue and dissemination of local history.

“This is a work, the result of several years of study, which enriches the set of publications that have appeared so far on the Institute of the Canary Islands, now IES Canarias Cabrera Pinto. From the area, we understand the importance of supporting works like this, with a huge research work and that, in this case, honors the memory of the many teachers who came to share their knowledge with the youth of the Canary Islands,” says Elvira Jorge.

The mayor informs that the publication -which will be distributed among cultural, social and educational entities that request it- “refers to the historical context of La Laguna from the moment this teaching center, heir of the University of Fernandina, was founded until a few years after the end of the Spanish civil war, describing the particular situation experienced by the teaching of Physics and Chemistry in that place through the biographical history and the work of the teachers of that department”.

The apparatus and instruments of Physics and Chemistry laboratories of the time receive in this book a preferential treatment. At present, thanks to the continued work of the Physics and Chemistry teachers of the Instituto Canarias Cabrera Pinto, a large part of this material is on display in the Sala Permanente de Instrumentos Científicos Blas Cabrera Felipe, located in that center.

For the elaboration of this research work, Álvaro Díaz Torres has used the information obtained in different archives and libraries, through the consultation of memories and opening speeches of different historical institutes, files of the teaching staff, manuals and textbooks of Physics and Chemistry of the period studied, legislative collections, material and instruments exhibited in museums and a variety of articles and texts published. Among these contents, those from the historical collection of the Canary Islands Institute Archive, the General Archive of the Administration of Alcalá de Henares (AGA) and the Archive of the University of La Laguna stand out. In addition to the above, the resources of the documentary collections of archives, museums, professional associations and cultural entities of the Canary Islands and other parts of Spain have been used.

Álvaro Díaz Torres, as a teacher (high school professor in various institutes in the Canary Islands) and researcher, has been awarded by the Ministry of Education of the Canary Islands and the Ministry of Education and Science on multiple occasions. He is also the author of numerous conferences and articles and curator of exhibitions, focusing much of his professional work on the popularization of science.

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