Frequently asked Questions FAQ

General information

Who can use the Library?
The Museo Reina Sofía Library and Documentation Centre, specialised in contemporary art, can be accessed free of charge by anyone aged 14 or over with an interest in its collection. Minors will only be allowed access when accompanied by an adult. In order to consult the holdings contained within, a valid personal ID card (a Spanish National Identity card, Foreigners’ ID card, passport, or driving licence) must be submitted. The holdings of the Museo Reina Sofía Library and Documentation Centre are freely available, apart from documents with restricted access for security or conservation reasons. From 2 April 2018, the new Library Card will come into effect and will be mandatory to access and use the facilities.

How do I request a Library Card?
The Library Card can be obtained free of charge and can either be requested on the Museo Reina Sofía website by filling out the request form, or in person through the digital tablets located at the Library reception desk. Further information can be found in the Library Card section.

How do I use the Library Card?
Upon arrival at the Museo and before entering the reading room, visitors must show their Card at the Library reception desk (first-time visitors will have to submit a valid personal ID document, i.e. a Spanish National Identity card, Foreigners’ ID card, passport, or driving licence). After passing through the Library security area, visitors will be assigned a seat. While Library Cards are being made up, users will be given a provisional card at the entrance.   
Upon leaving the Library, please hand the pass bearing the assigned seat number into reception and sign out.
Visitors may leave the Library for a maximum of 30 minutes. Should this period be exceeded they will lose their place automatically.

Is the Library open every day?
From 2 April 2018, the Library’s new opening times will be from 9am to 9pm, Monday to Friday, except public holidays. Until that date, the opening times will remain from 10am to 9pm.

What materials can I take into the Library?
The reading room can be accessed with laptops, mobile phones set to silent mode, books and notes. With a view to ensuring the preservation of the collection, the following objects cannot be taken into the Library: food or drink, umbrellas, sharp or pointed objects, bags (of any kind), coats, jackets, laptop covers, cameras, video cameras, tripods, selfie sticks or any other type of camera stand. These items must be left in the cloakroom located at the Library entrance. However, if necessary, trays can be provided to move objects that are going to be used in the reading room. Lockers work with a password system that is personalized by each user.

Can I use my laptop in the Library?
Laptops can be used in the reading room provided the sound is switched off. This room also has various plug sockets.

Is there an Internet connection in the Library?
The Library has a free Wi-Fi network, under the name “Biblioteca MNRS”, with a 6Mb bandwidth. The reading room computers are also connected to the Internet.

Can people with reduced mobility access the reading room?
Unfortunately, some areas of the library are almost inaccessible for people with reduced mobility. However, Library staff are keen to find a solution to any problems arising from this issue.

Does the possibility of making complaints, suggestions and/or reporting issues exist? What about giving positive feedback?
Forms are available for visitors to collect and hand in at the information desks located at the main entrances to the Museo. On Tuesdays, the day the Museo is closed to the public, these forms may be requested at the Library reception desk.

Can books or other materials be borrowed?
Unfortunately, individuals cannot borrow materials from the Library.

Are there tours around the Library?
The Library is intended for study and research. However, visits group may be requested by contacting, indicating the group’s details and proposed visiting date.

Can I take pictures of the facilities?
Photographs can only be taken of the Library facilities with prior authorisation from the Museo. This can be requested by writing to

The Library collection

How is the Library’s collection organised?
The majority of the Library’s holdings are freely accessible in the reading room. The catalogues and monographs on individual artists and magazine subscriptions can be found on Floor -1, while on Floor 1 there are a wide range of materials on contemporary art: art techniques, design, architecture, museology, art fairs, collective exhibition catalogues, representation in the arts, art and society, dictionaries, encyclopaedias, and directories. 
The rest of the items, many belonging to private collections, are conserved in a repository and classified as documents with a high historical or artistic value, for instance personal and art gallery archives, photobooks, artists’ books, vinyl records, ephemera and comics, as well as duplicates, flyers and special edition magazines.

How can I locate a document?
Visitors can find every type of document through the Library collection catalogue, available online, and through the computers on both floors of the reading room.

How can I look up documents that are not in the reading room?
The books and magazines located on the shelves of the reading room are freely accessible. To locate a document, users can use the layout plans of the collection, or ask a member of staff.

How can I look up documents that are not in the reading room?
Visitors must fill out a request form for each repository document they wish to consult. From 2 April 2018, reading room staff will request members’ Library Card for each document they request. Until 2 April, visitors without a Library Card must submit a valid form of identification (a Spanish National Identity card, Foreigners’ ID card, passport, or driving licence). On each occasion, a maximum of five titles may be requested, and documents belonging to Special Collections will be provided one by one. Audiovisual material can be viewed on the Library computers’ DVD players.

Are exhibition catalogues from shows held at the Museo available in the Library?
The catalogues from these exhibitions are being added to the Library collection.

Library Services

Can a specific document not found in the Library be requested?  
Forms are available on Floor -1 of the reading room to request documents not found in the collection and of interest to visitors, provided the publication date is not more than five years before the time of request. Requests can also be submitted to the following email address:

Can I reserve documents?
Only freely accessible documents located in the reading room can be reserved, with the exception of periodic publications. A maximum of five books can be set aside in up to seven consecutive days. These must be left on the allocated tables, along with the pertinent reservation form.

Can Library documents be photocopied, photographed or scanned?
Most of the Library’s collection can be copied, in accordance with that established by Spanish Copyright Law. The Library has three coin-operated self-service photocopiers available, two for black-and-white copies and one for colour. The Library staff, however, do not provide change. For preservation reasons, documents belonging to special materials and collections may not be photocopied. These reproductions must be requested by writing to the Document Access Service, at, and will be dependent on the state of conservation of the materials.
Public fees are set in accordance with the resolution of 18 July 2014 of the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, stipulated and published in the Agreement between the Permanent Commission of Royal Patronage, which establishes commercial prices for services and activities carried out by the Museo. 

Can I work as part of a group in the Library?
The Library has a meeting room, with a capacity for fourteen people, available for users  to arrange group work meetings, prioritising those related to contemporary art projects and preparing the Museo’s activities, and to consult specific holdings in work groups. Bookings must be made at least one day in advance by writing to:

If you wish to reserve a room for uses other than those mentioned above, please contact:

What is the Documentary Space?
The Documentary Space, or Space D, is a room which is open to the public and is designed to display and grant visibility to the collections of the Library and Documentation Centre and the Museo in general. Space D can be found on Floor 0 of the Library and has free access with the same opening times. No Library Card or proof of accreditation is necessary, and access can be requested at the Library reception desk.