Name :

-          in the national language(s) and script(s) : Biblioteca Nacional de España

-          in English : National Library of Spain


Location/Address :

Paseo de Recoletos 20

28071 Madrid

Tfno: 0034 915807800



Hi-res picture at :



Web site & 2.0 :

·         Web :

·         Facebook:

·         Twitter:

·         Flick:

·         Youtube:

·         Slideshare:





Ricardo Santos

Head of Technical Services Department


Lourdes Alonso

Coordination and Standardization Services


Authority file mailbox:



Short description of the institution :


National Library of Spain was founded by King Philip V of Spain in 1712 as the Palace Public Library (Biblioteca Pública de Palacio). From it’s beginning, it was opened to the general public. The King grants the Royal Letters Patent, the predecessor of the current legal deposit requirement, made it mandatory for printers to submit a copy of every book printed in Spain to the library. In 1836, the library's status as Crown property was revoked and ownership was transferred to the civil government. At the same time, it was renamed the Biblioteca Nacional.


Spain's Biblioteca Nacional receives and stores copies of all the books published in Spain. It also holds an extremely valuable collection of incunabula, manuscripts, illustrations, drawings, photographs, audio recordings, musical scores, etc.


La Biblioteca Nacional de España fue fundada por el rey Felipe V en 1712 como la Real Biblioteca de Palacio. Desde sus inicios, estaba abierta al público en general. Por un privilegio real, precedente del actual depósito legal, los impresores debían depositar un ejemplar de los libros impresos en España. En 1836, la Biblioteca dejó de ser propiedad de la corona y pasó a depender del Ministerio de la Gobernación, y recibió por primera vez el nombre de Biblioteca Nacional.


La Biblioteca Nacional de España recibe y conserva ejemplares de todos los libros y otros materiales sujetos a depósito legal publicados en España. Además, atesora una valiosísima colección de incunables, manuscritos, estampas, dibujos, fotografías, grabaciones sonoras, partituras...


Short description of the authority data:

-          Authorities web site :

-          described entities

o   Persons 1200634

o   Corporate bodies 293195

o   Geographical names  16456

o   Uniform titles  721328 (anonymous and series) author-title: 1288392

o   EMBNE subject authority records  356333 (heading and heading+subheading) (subheadings, genre/form not included)


-          quantity/number of records

-          data provided in the authority records: MARC 21

o   Authorized and variant access point.

o   Use notes / Cataloguer notes

o   Source data found


Data provided to VIAF and number of records :


-          Authority records for names of persons, corporate bodies, geographical names and titles.

As of Dec 31, 2012 :

·         Persons: 369736

·         Corporate: 62893

·         Titles: 57818 (anonymous and series) 44740

·         All bibliographic records created, updated or deleted in the BNE general catalogue related with the authority records sent to VIAF.





The Manual de autoridades (Authority guidelines) is an online publication stating the policy followed by the library in its authorities. It contains the choices made by the library related with forms of heading, criteria, rules interpretations, and the realization of the authority records (in Spanish). Link:



The subjects heading handbook is a document, available online, made and published by the Classification Service, containing guidelines and agreements reached during the  indization and classification daily work (in Spanish). Link:


Escolano Rodríguez, Elena. El control de autoridades en la Biblioteca Nacional (Power Point), 2006 (in Spanish). Available in: