of the Publishers and the Published of Catalonia

Catalonia's bibliographic and document output is rich and diverse, with authors from all eras and fields supported by a publishing industry which attests to Catalan culture and is a crucial part in cultural dissemination and consumption.
The Biblioteca de Catalunya and other Catalan institutions conserve collections and personal archives of the authors and publishing collections that contribute to constructing both our history and our present. It is important to spread awareness of these works and to make them easy to locate and study. Among the documents conserved at the BC, should be remarked the Biblioteca Bergnes de las Casas, specialized in the world of books and publishing.
The Portal of the Heritage of Publishers and the Published:

  • Promotes the preservation and discovery of our publishing heritage.
  • Provides a single point of access to the collections and archives of publishers and authors.
  • Contributes to the internationalisation of Catalonia’s heritage and culture through its cultural industries.
  • Spotlights the personal collections of authors and publishers through their links.
  • Guarantees that historical publications are available for future publications.

From the very start, this initiative has benefited from the involvement and disinterested advice of Sergio Vila-Sanjuán, a journalist and writer who is an expert in the book sector and reading, whom we particularly wish to thank for his support.

Eugènia Serra
Director of the Biblioteca de Catalunya

Knowing the history of a country means knowing about the events, the culture, the language… The culture is a sum of creation, the institutions and the cultural industries. In the world of books, publishers have played and continue to play an essential role. Making their activity visible on the Internet by locating their archives and those of the authors they publish is a unique way to spotlight the vitality of Catalan culture.

Patrici Tixis Padrosa
Gremi d’Editors de Catalunya (Publishers’ Guild of Catalonia)

The cultural history of a country is somehow the history of its publishing industry. French culture cannot be understood without the "Encyclopédie", just as we cannot understand Catalan culture from the 19th and 20th centuries without knowing the work of Montaner y Simón or Edicions 62. This is why it is so important to celebrate the Biblioteca de Catalunya’s project aimed at compiling our publishing heritage.

Lluís Agustí
Director of the Escola de Llibreria
Faculty of Library Science and Documentation
Universitat de Barcelona

One of the Biblioteca de Catalunya’s avenues of work is to promote the recovery and conservation of personal collections. We at the Institució de les Lletres Catalanes (Institution of Catalan Letters) contribute towards this goal and have undertaken a joint programme to preserve our literary heritage. With this portal, the Library is taking yet another step in sharing the collections that exist and their location, because it is as important to preserve the collections as it is to encourage them to be used, studied and disseminated.

Laura Borràs
Institució de les Lletres Catalanes

Barcelona, publishing capital

The world of Catalan books has caused an international impact over the centuries

Sergio Vila-Sanjuán

Barcelona is one of the cities in the world that has one of the longest and most continuous publishing histories. From the invention of the printing press until today, it has spent more than five centuries producing volumes for an extraordinarily wide range of readers. This uninterrupted effort defines the capital of Catalonia, which has been and continues to be the publishing capital of the Spanish-speaking world.
How did Barcelona become the key reference in the international cultural industry?
Back in the Middle Ages, the city had what we could consider a complete book ecosystem which included authors, disseminators (copyists, printers, publishers), booksellers, librarians and of course normal readers as well as bibliophiles. This concentration defines an entire way of experiencing culture, and its remnants are one of the main hallmarks of Barcelona residents. This has been noticed by outside observers such as Miguel de Cervantes in the 17th century and Mario Vargas Llosa in the 20th century, when specifically defining Barcelona in terms of its relationship with books.