Spanish National Library

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Biblioteca Nacional de España
Plaza de Colón (Madrid) 02.jpg
Seat of the Spanish National Library in Madrid

founding 1712
Duration approx. 26 million media units
Library type National Library
place Madrid
management Gloria Pérez-Salmerón

The Spanish National Library ( Spanish Biblioteca Nacional de España ) in Madrid is the most important library in Spain and the central repository for books from Spain. The library, founded in 1712, has around 26 million media units, making it one of the largest libraries on earth . The National Library has a branch in Alcalá de Henares . In 2012 it celebrated its 300th anniversary.


The Spanish National Library was founded in 1712 by Philip V as Biblioteca Real ("Royal Library"), although the actual founding decree was only announced on January 2, 1716. The library was supposed to give citizens access to knowledge as well as to accommodate the private libraries of some nobles. The printers were required to submit a copy of all books published in Spain (comparable to today's filing of legal deposit ). The library's first publication appeared in 1738 with the title Bibliotheca Universal de la Polygraphia Española , edited by Cristóbal Rodríguez .

In 1761 the statutes of the library were made by Juan de Santander on behalf of Charles III. revised. In addition, the Imprenta Real ('Royal Printing House') was founded, managed by the responsible librarian.

In 1836 the library was renamed the National Library , and its activities were no longer dependent on the royal family, but came under public administration. The destruction of the foundation's assets resulted in the closure of numerous monasteries and religious institutions. The library developed the strategy of taking over the holdings that had been in the hands of the Church up to that point, whereby its holdings grew and, above all, improved in quality.

From 1835 to 1860, several commissions were set up to oversee the institution's specialist areas. All books confiscated from the clergy during the First Republic became the library's holdings.

In 1896, after thirty years of construction, the new headquarters on Paseo de Recoletos was completed, which served as a library, museum and archive .

From 1936 to 1939 the collection grew again during the Spanish Civil War due to the confiscation of nearly five hundred thousand books.


In 1957 the deposit of deposit copies was introduced. This replaced the previous rule, according to which printers had to submit a copy of each issue. In 1986 the library consisted of the integrated departments Hemeroteca Nacional ('National Newspaper Archive '), the Instituto Bibliográfico Hispánico ('Spanish Bibliographic Institute') and the Centro del Tesoro Documental y Bibliográfico ('Center for the Documentary Film Archive').

In 1991, due to lack of space, a new archive for books was set up in Alcalá de Henares.


The National Library is affiliated to the Spanish Ministry of Sports and Culture as an autonomous organization. Its general director is the Royal Board of Trustees and has the powers of a “senior advisor”. Its committees are the board of directors, technical management and management. Gloria Pérez-Salmerón has been the director of ESD since 2010 .


Seat of the Spanish National Library in Alcalá de Henares .

The holdings of the National Library include:


  • General main catalog
  • DIBI
  • CCPP

Web links

Commons : National Library of Spain  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Tereixa Constenla: Una especialista de la casa para la ESD. In: El País of July 7, 2010 (Spanish). Retrieved May 1, 2012.
  2. According to the information on the website of the National Library ( memento of the original from April 20, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /

Coordinates: 40 ° 25 ′ 24 ″  N , 3 ° 41 ′ 23 ″  W.