Library science

This collection specialises in Library Science, Documentation, Archive and Museum Sciences, together with topics closely related to these disciplines, such as the History of Books and ICTs.

The origins of this collection date back to 1950. It was in that year that the Directorate General for Archives and Libraries organised the Technical Training Courses for Archivists, Librarians and Archaeologists, forming a reference library for the use of students and teaching staff. These courses were subsequently consolidated, creating the School for Documentalists which, under different names, operated for over 20 years. The school was closed in 1986 when library science and documentation studies became part of mainstream education and were taught in universities.

With the creation of the Ministry of Culture, several of its centres were restructured and their specialist libraries were added to those from the former school and placed under the management of the Book and Reading Centre under the name of the Librarians' Library, which operated from 1988 to 1991.

In 1992, it was transferred to the Biblioteca Nacional de España, coinciding with the latter's creation as an autonomous body, and existing library science assets were incorporated into the Bibliographic Information Service; this specialist library was called the Library Science Documentation Service.

It is currently a unit belonging to the Bibliographic Information Service, within the Reference Department, and has its own reference room.



To announce the latest arrivals, the quarterly Selective Information Dissemination Bulletin includes the monographs received, a selection of journal articles and summaries of some of those articles. These summaries are also published on the Library Science Blog. Obsolete and unused materials are transferred to the second warehouse of the Biblioteca Nacional de España, located in Alcalá de Henares, and can be consulted following prior request in the General Reading Room.

Periodical Publications

National and foreign specialist magazines, in printed and electronic formats. Users can access the full text of the electronic journals online via the free electronic journals and subscription-only electronic journals listings. Free electronic journals can be consulted from any computer, while subscription-only electronic journals must be consulted from BNE computers. Foreign print journals published in the last three years are located in this Room, and copies from previous years are held in the Press and Magazines Room.

Material for exam candidates

Includes subjects for all the Bodies of the competitive examinations for Archives, Museums and Libraries, monographs on case studies, legislation, examples of examinations from different calls, specialist bibliographies and a Guide for Exam Candidates.

How to consult the holdings in this room

To access the room you need a researcher’s, reader’s or library documentation card.


Free access holdings: the entire collection can be found on the shelves in the room and is available through free access.

Home loan from the library documentation collection: 3 copies can be borrowed at home for 10 days, and the loan can be renewed twice for another 10 days each renewal. Renewals can be requested in person, by phone, or by email. Copies that are out on loan to other users can also be reserved.