Spain’s National Library celebrates 300 years
The Spanish National Library celebrates the tri-centenary of its foundation by King Philip V in 1711 with a programme of exhibitions, concerts, drama, meetings and conferences.
The main exhibition, which will be showing all year, is divided into three sections; the collection, conservation techniques and the use of modern technology for wider library access.
The National Library is the oldest cultural institution in the country and holds 26 million items, including 15 million books and the first edition of Don Quixote. It also has a collection of Goya engravings, original drawings by Velazquez and Murillo and several collections of precious photographs. A copy of every book printed in Spain is lodged with the library.
The public has access to all books printed after 1931 and in 2007 there were nearly two million users.