Libraries in Spain

National

Biblioteca Nacional
This is the most important library in Spain, preserving all of Spain's publications. It holds special collections of rare books, the fine arts and cartography, as well as manuscripts, drawings, photographs and video and sound recordings. The website includes a very useful Spanish libraries directory.

Biblioteca nacional de Catalunya, Barcelona
This is the bibliographic centre for research in Catalan.

University

Biblioteca Universidad Autónoma de Madrid
This is the library of one of the most important universities in Spain. It offers books, audio-visual material, databases, services on cartography and special support for teaching.

Biblioteca de la Universitat de Barcelona
This is the library of the University of Barcelona. It is dedicated to the support of its own university community assisting study and teaching. It holds books, specialized journals and magazines, and provides access to electronic and digital information.

Biblioteca Universidad Complutense de Madrid
This library is considered one of the most important University libraries in Spain. It maintains, amongst many other things, the digital library 'Dioscorides', including more than 3000 digitized books.

Biblioteca de la Universidad del País Vasco
This library holds the collections of the Biblioteca Central del Campus de Leioa and 24 College and University libraries housed on different campuses. Its catalogue includes more than 800,000 monographs, 17,000 periodicals, 2,000 maps and 63,000 photographs and slides.

Bibliotecas de la Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
This is the library of the Autonomous University of Barcelona. One of its main libraries, Biblioteca d'Humanitats, specializes in the humanities. It holds texts, journals, CD-ROMs and audio-visual materials such as slides and DVDs.

CSIC - Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Humanidades y Ciencias Sociales
This is an autonomous multi-sectoral, multi-disciplinary, public research body affiliated to the Ministry of Science and Technology. It possesses a wide variety of centres and facilities specialized in culture and history specific to Latin American and Arab studies. All centres provide facilities and material to undertake research projects as well as advisory, scientific and technical support.

  • Archivo del Centro de Ciencias Humanas y Sociales (Biblioteca Tomás Navarro Tomás)
    This is the library of one of the centres belonging to CSIC, specializing in human and social sciences.
  • Escuela de Estudios Arabes - CSIC
    Also belonging to the CSIC, this school is located in Granada and specializes in Arabic studies. It holds documents and books on historiography, architecture, literature, restoration of monuments and manuscripts.
  • Escuela de Estudios Hispano-Americanos
    Again, part of the CSIC, this school is dedicated to the study, research and publication of journals and monographs with respect to the History of the Americas. Its library is one of the most important ones in Spain and dedicated specifically to areas such as the History of Pre-Columbian America, the conquest, history of colonization, history of Indian law, history of colonial art and history of modern and contemporary Spain.

Specialized libraries

Institución ColombinaSevilla
The Cathedral of Seville houses two important collections: the Biblioteca Colombina and the Biblioteca Capitular (Cathedral Library). The original collection contained 15,000 volumes amassed by the indefatigable bibliophile Colón, who travelled all of Europe buying books. Many of the materials have been lost over the centuries, but a manuscript catalogue of the original collection survived and was published in a facsimile edition in 1992. Today the Biblioteca Colombina houses 3,200 volumes, of which 1,250 are incunabula and 587 are manuscripts. One of the most important items is the Libro de Profecías of Christopher Columbus. The Biblioteca Capitular possesses an outstanding collection of Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque music manuscripts, maps, codices, and handwritten documents, beginning with the 13th century.

Biblioteca de Andalucía
This library is located in Granada. It specializes in the Andalusian bibliographic patrimony. It holds manuscripts, journals, special collections and official publications.

Biblioteca de Mujeres - Madrid
This library specializes in women's studies. It holds approximately 17,000 publications including works on feminism, history, health, psychology, sexuality, sports and the arts. It also holds documents issued by the Spanish Feminist Movement.

Biblioteca General de Navarra - Pamplona
This library holds bibliographic documents and films which relate to the historical heritage of Navarra. It also holds publications relating to the geography of this area.

Centro de Documentación de las Artes Escénicas de Andalucía
The library of the centre specializes in documents, publications, journals and magazines relating to the theatre and dances of Andalusia.

Centro de Documentación Musical de Andalucía
The centre is dedicated to research on the music of Andalusia, its historical heritage, links and influences with and from other world music.

ECAM: Escuela de Cinematografía y del Audiovisual de la Comunidad de Madrid
The school is dedicated to teaching in the areas of production, direction, script writing, photography, editing and sound. It holds a library and specialized rooms for the development of cinema and audio-visual aids.

Escuela Universitaria de Artes y Espectáculos
This is a private centre dedicated to the training of professionals in the areas of cinema, theatre, photography, the audio-visual and the performing arts. It has a library and materials specific to the different degrees and diplomas it offers. Access is limited to its students, although those interested can obtain daily visiting passes.

Filmoteca de Andalucía
The centre, located in Cordoba, is dedicated to the collection, promotion and development of research on the Andalusian cinematographic heritage. It has a library dedicated to film material, documentation and publications relating to the cinematic culture of Andalusia.

Filmoteca Española
This is the Spanish film library, which also has books and illustrations. It provides viewing facilities, but there is a long waiting list.

Filmoteca del País Vasco
The Basque Film Library was founded in 1978 for the purpose of researching, retrieving, archiving, conserving and screening films and other audiovisual media relevant to the study of cinema and Basque cinema in particular.

Hemeroteca Municipal de Madrid 
This public newspaper library houses an important collection of periodicals.

Museo Nacional del Prado
The library of the Prado Museum holds major collections of Spanish and non Spanish publications on art.