History of the collection
The core of the modern Latin American holdings (which includes the Philippines for historical reasons) comprises the collection of the former Latin America Department, created in 1949 and dissolved in 1992. Its more than 80,000 volumes - post-1800 books and pamphlets, any dating from before this time were transferred to the Rare Books department and periodical publications were moved to the Magazines department - come from the old Biblioteca de Ultramar (Overseas Library) deposited in the BNE when the Ministry of the same name was dissolved after the loss of Spain's last remaining colonies, and from works in this area received through legal deposit, purchase, exchange or donation.
The former Section had its own room for consulting the collection, and after it was dissolved, consultations took place in the General Room. Works on the theme of Latin America that continued to enter through legal deposit, in addition to the acquisitions the Biblioteca Nacional made of works published in other countries, were included in the general collection from that time onwards.
Pre-1800 works from the Biblioteca de Ultramar came to form part of the already rich collection of antique printed works although numerous works printed between 1800 and 1830, among which the pamphlets are most notable for their number and interest, especially those concerning Mexican independence, remained in the HA call number.
Also worthy of note owing to their rarity are the 19th century printed works in the indigenous Philippine languages (Tagalog, Visaya, etc.).
For their part, the numerous periodical publications (particularly those published in Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Philippines during the 19th century) were transferred to the Newspapers and Magazines collections.
In addition to the printed works, the Biblioteca Nacional holds an important collection of Manuscripts, Maps and Charts on America.