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Frequently Asked Questions

About the BC

About collections

About loan

About reproductions

About activities/visits

About profesional services


About the BC

  • What is the BC?

The BC is the national library of Catalonia, with almost 4 million documents of all kinds (books, periodicals, audio, videos, maps, drawings, engravings, old and modern manuscripts, scores, posters ...). It is a cultural centre of reference specialized in the collection, preservation, promotion and dissemination of the written, musical, sound, visual, graphic and editorial heritage of Catalonia, in the context both analogue and digital.

  • What was the building where the BC is located?

It was the ancient Hospital de la Santa Creu de Barcelona, one of the most important Gothic ensembles in Catalonia. Built between the XVth and XVIIth centuries, it was the largest hospital in Catalonia for many centuries. Since 1939 it is the location of the BC. More information

  • Is there WI-FI avalaible?

Yes. There is free WIFI both inside the library and in the garden. More information

  • What do I need to get the BC card? Is it free?

You only need to present an ID card or passport and expose the subject of your query. The BC card is free. More information

  •  My BC card has expired. How do I renew it?

You need to present a valid ID Card or passport. If you want to maintain the same barcode, you must present the expired BC card. If you want to use the online BC services, you can ask for a renewal by phone [+34 93 270 23 00 (ext.  84013158)] or email [].

  • Is there a car park? Is there access for the disabled?

The BC has no car park. Nevertheless, it has an access for people with disabilities at Egipcíaques street, 14. You can go directly, although it's better to previously contact the library by email ( or phone (93 270 23 00).

  •  Can I take photos or recordings at the Library?

The Biblioteca de Catalunya allows you to take photos, for private use, of the building and its surroundings. The BC offers the possibility to make recording or photographic sessions for professional or commercial use in the indicated conditions. More information

  • What should I do to work at the BC?

Information at Working at the BC section.

  • How is the BC using new technologies?

The Biblioteca de Catalunya allows you to take photos, for private use, of the building and its surroundings. The BC offers the possibility to make recording or photographic sessions for professional or commercial use in the indicated conditions.

About collections

  • Is it possible to find a copy of everything published in Catalunya?

The Biblioteca de Catalunya allows you to take photos, for private use, of the building and its surroundings. The BC offers the possibility to make recording or photographic sessions for professional or commercial use in the indicated conditions.

  • Why the BC does not have my book?

If it was published before 1981 it may have not reached/arrived at the BC; if it was published later, usually it can be found at the catalogue a few months after its publication; however, there are historical collections still pending of being catalogued.

  • How do I know if you have the collection or papers of a writer, illustrator, compositor, etc.?

To know which personal papers could be found at the BC you can search the catalogue or Search the collections.You can search by alphabetic index or navegate through a complete list.

  • How do I know if you have a particular document? Can I locate a specific issue of a serial?

Most of the documents can be found in the catalogue (by title, author, etc.). If not, you can Search the collections or contact the information service of the Library, Ask a librarian.
If you are searching for a serial, once located in the catalogue, you must pay attention at the holdings description. There you will find the holdings details, following of this punctuation.

  • How long does it take to arrive the item I have requested?

It depends on the location. Check the delivery timetable.

  • How can I request an item?

Once located at the catalogue, use the "Document Request" option; ; if the document is not in the catalogue yet you can use the form in thecatalogue landing page or the “Items outside the catalogue” option at the Request of documents service.

  • How can I access to a collection that is still in cataloguing process?

Contact the librarians or use Ask a librarian service.

  • Can I ask the BC to make a document adquisition? / Can suggest a purchase? How can I add a book to a wish list?

Users can suggest a purchase via web, after login.

  • How can I donate documents to the BC?

Documents can be delivered by hand at the Reading Rooms or to the Acquisition Service; you can also contact by phone [+34 93 270 23 00], email ( or online.

  • Does BC offer donations?

The BC offers books duplicates to organizations without commercial purpose (libraries, schools, civic and social centres, nursing homes, ...).

About loan

  • How can I renew my loans?

The process of renewal may be done at the information desk or by phone [+34 93 270 23 00 (ext. 3158)] or by web through “My account ”.

  • How can I know when I have to return my loans?

The library sends a reminder three days before the loan period expires if you have the email informed. Alternatively, you can consult “My account” to check the documents on loan and their due date.

  •  I have exceeded the due date. Do I have a penalty?

Yes, one day of penalty for every day of delay and every document, because you deprive others users of access to those documents.

  •  What should I do to ask for a book to another institution?  Is it a free service?

You can request books from Catalan universities via PUC (free service), or use the PIB (loan between libraries around the world). This last option may imply fees depending on the lending library. More information

  •  What to do in case of loss or damage of the document?

The loss or damage of a document will imply, from the requester to the library, the handover of a new copy of the same edition or if it is out of print the one that the library establish. More information

About reproductions

  • Can I get copies of books or any other material that is located in the BC?

Yes. The authorization, kind and place of the reproduction and also its delivery time, depends on the material. The reproduction of materials from/in the Reserve room has special conditions. More information

  • Can I request copies of material from another library?

Yes. They can be requested through the forms at the information desk or online. The fees and reproduction conditions will depend on the library regulations that own the documents.

  • Can I use my cell phone or camera to take pictures of books and other documents from the BC?

Your mobile devices, yes, but a camera, no. Reproductions must be made solely for the purpose of research and, before doing so, you may ask for authorization. Instructions.

  • Can I request reproductions from the web?

Yes, filling up this form or from the Additional services of the catalogue (“Do you wish a reproduction?”). The BC also offers online sale of high-quality digital reproductions of public domain, royalty-free documents. More information.

  • Is it necessary to ask for permission to use a reproduction of a document of the BC?

Yes, if the reproductions are for public use; if they are also for commercial use, you must pay, in addition to reproduction cost, the fees fixed by the BC which will contribute to the conservation of the collection. If there are copyright, it is necessary to obtain an authorization from the rights owners and remunerate them, if it is the case. More information

About activities/visits

  • How can I know the activities at the Library?

The activities are announced on the website and social networks. You can receive information providing us with your email or syndicating from our website.

  • Can I attend the activities of the Library?

Yes. The activities at the BC are opened to everybody.

  • Can I propose an activity to the Library?

Yes. You can send suggestions to  

  • Can I visit the Library? What areas can I visit?

The BC can be visited in group by scheduled appointment. On Saint George’s (23rd of April), day visits can be on your own or arranged, because we celebrate an Open Doors Day.

About professional services

  • How can I find information about Legal Deposit?

The BC assigns the numbers of Legal Deposit in Catalonia and receives copies of what is published.More information

  • How can I find information about cataloguing or other documentary technical processes?

More information at Professionals.

  • Can I know the value of my book? Does the Library do valuations of documents?

BC doesn’t offer this service. You can consult the recommended resources on the subject. Appraisal and Antiquarian booksellers a Tagpacker. 

  • How are kept and preserved documents at the BC?

Books and documents in physical formats are kept in deposits with security and environmental (humidity, temperature and lighting) conditions that help ensure their survival over time. More information

Digital documents and websites are located in information and digital preservation systems that perform the necessary routines to ensure their integrity, authenticity, reliability and functionality. More information