The collection of choir books belonging to the Biblioteca Nacional de España, which originated in large from the ecclesiastical confiscations of the 19th century, comprises almost one hundred liturgical books which came from a number of ecclesiastical centres and are now held in our library.
These lectern books provide key testimony to the tradition of Gregorian chant in Spain. It is very different from any other cathedral or monasterial a collection as its features are heterogeneous, both in terms of origin and format. This collection contains a wide codicological and melodic representation of the copious production of choir books over the centuries, which is of great interest both to musicologists and Gregorian experts and for philologists and scholars of ancient Spanish books.
All of this reveals the need to develop the current database to provide a solution and service to the various essential issues regarding cataloguing and research. On the one hand, it will enable the Library to achieve a more detailed level of bibliographic description, in accordance with the peculiarities of this repertoire. And on the other, this systematisation and standardisation of all the aspects of the lectern books (missals, graduals, antiphonal books, etc.) should become a benchmark for the Spanish-speaking world and any institution with this singular kind of bibliographic collection.
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