With more than 200 libraries, including about 30 in the city centre, Barcelona has a good network of public institutions that provide access to education and culture. The latter offer several advantages because they are open on Sundays and some close late in the evening (1 am). You can walk around the shelves and reading rooms whenever you want. In order to help you in your day or night searches, here is a list of Barcelona’s central libraries.
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Biblioteca de Catalunya
The Biblioteca de Catalunya is, as its name suggests, the most important in Barcelona and also the most emblematic. Indeed, the origin and history of the library have forged its reputation. The buildings of great architectural beauty date back to the 16th century. They were once used in the hospital of the Holy Cross before becoming those of the National Library of Catalonia. In 1981, the Parliament of Catalonia granted it official status and gave it the task of collecting, preserving and distributing works from Catalonia as well as in Catalan. With more than 3 million copies, some of them unique and of great value, the Library of Catalonia continues to maintain and modernize the premises for readers.
Address: Carrer de l’Hospital, 56
Pompeu Fabra University Library
Close to Barceloneta and the Museum of History of Catalonia, the library of the University Pompeu Fabra (UPF) is located in an old water tower. The premises were built at the end of the 19th century and subsequently served as premises for the Universal Exhibition before becoming the site of the UPF library. Students at the public university, considered one of the best in Spain, appreciate the collections made available for their studies. The Rectorate’s desire to modernize services has allowed users to enjoy spacious and bright places, while enjoying access to wifi and power outlets for those who need to work there for several hours.
Address: Plaça de la Mercè, 10
Filmoteca de Catalunya
Close to the Güell Palace, the Filmoteca de Catalunya or cinémathèque is a library specialized in cinema. It is also a centre for conservation, restoration and dissemination. It thus contributes to Catalonia’s cinematographic heritage by collecting and preserving works by local authors. With more than 900 annual screenings, a cinema exhibition hall, activities on the history of Catalan cinema and educational programmes, the Barcelona Film Library is an institution for all film lovers who wish to (re)see old films. Since 1981, Filmoteca de Catalunya has officially joined the ranks of public institutions.
Address: Plaça de Salvador Seguí