Primary contactPº de Recoletos, 20-22
The Biblioteca Nacional is Spain's highest library institution and is head of the Spanish Library System. As the country's national library it is the centre responsible for identifying, preserving, conserving and disseminating information about Spain's documentary heritage and it aspires to be an essential point of reference for research into Spanish culture. In accordance with its Articles of Association, passed by Royal Decree 1581/1991 (R.D. 1581/1991) of October 31, 1991, its principal functions are to:
• Compile, catalogue and conserve bibliographic archives produced in any language of the Spanish state, or any other language, for the purposes of research, culture and information.
• Promote research through the study, loan and reproduction of its bibliographic archive.
• Disseminate information on Spain's bibliographic output based on the entries received through the legal deposit requirement
The library's collection consists of more than 26,000,000 items, including 15,000,000 books and other printed materials, 30,000 manuscripts, 143,000 newspapers and serials, 4,500,000 graphic materials, 510,000 music scores, 500,000 maps, 600,000 sound recording, 90,000 audiovisuals, 90,000 electronic documents, more than 500,000 microforms, etc.
The current Library director is Milagros del Corral appointed in 2007. Former directors include historian Juan Pablo Fusi (1996–2000) and author Rosa Regàs (2004–2007).Given its role as the legal deposit for the whole of Spain, since 1991 it has kept most of the overflowing collection at a secondary site in Alcalá de Henares, near Madrid.
The Biblioteca Nacional provides access to its collections through the following library services:
• Guidance and general information on the institution and other libraries. Bibliographic information about its collection and those held by other libraries or library systems.
• Access to its automated catalogue, which currently contains close to 3,000,000 bibliographic records encompassing all of its collections.
• Archive consultation in the library's reading rooms.
• Interlibrary loans.
• Archive reproduction.