Library services

The Library and Documentation Centre offers a number of services to help the public become aware of and take advantage of its collection, making it a useful tool in the research and study of the world of contemporary art. Items from the collection can be consulted only in the reading room, which has specific areas for using audiovisual materials and also has an Internet connection for public use.

The Library and Documentation Centre also offers specific services to other institutions, such as inter-library loan and bibliographic exchange, and it organises different activities related to its mission and its objectives, which are intrinsically linked to those of the Museum.

General services

  Consultation in the reading room

The Library and Documentation Centre has a reading room with two floors, where the bibliographic material and documents can be consulted. Most of the collection can be freely accessed by the public. The automated catalogue (OPAC) can be consulted in the computers located in the reading rooms, where there are also readers with which to view audiovisual materials. To locate a document in the reading room, go to Locating Documents.

The room has library staff that will answer any type of question and respond to requests for the documents that are not freely accessible. If you have a question regarding bibliographical information that cannot be dealt with in the reading room, please ask the staff in the Documentation Office on Floor 3.

 Copying items in the collection and accessing documents

The Library and Documentation Centre has a copy room on Floor –1 with four black and white photocopiers and one colour photocopier, all of which are self-service. It also has a permanent stand for taking photographs. In addition, a mobile stand is available for taking photographs. If you wish to use it, please ask the reading room staff. The use of personal cameras and scanners is also allowed. Documents can be reproduced for private use only and exclusively for purposes of research. At all times the Spanish Law on Intellectual Property must be respected.

Rates:  Photocopy DIN A4: Black and white 0.05 € / Colour 0.60 €

Documents that are over 50 years old or have special characteristics making them especially vulnerable in terms of conservation cannot be copied under any circumstances. This includes the documents with the signatures MATERIAL ESPECIAL, RESERVA, REVII, LA and FL.

To make copies of this type of material you must submit a request to the Document Access Service, at . Once the request has been received, the service staff will indicate to you the steps that must be taken and will prepare an estimate, according to the type of reproduction requested and the use that is to be made of it. This service will not deal with any copyright issues, which are the responsibility of the person making the request.

 Reserving copies

This service allows users to reserve the books available in the reading room. A maximum of five documents can be reserved for a period of up to one week. All you need to do is place the documents on the reserved tables in the reading room (which are located on both Floor +1 and Floor –1) along with the corresponding form that will be provided by the reading room staff upon request.

 Requesting acquisitions

In the reading room (Floor –1) there are forms for requesting any documents not already in the collection and that users consider to be of interest. These items must have been published within the past five years. Requests can also be sent by e-mail to .

Wireless Access Point

The reading room has a Wi-Fi Internet connection area for use by Library users. To connect, look for the network: Biblioteca MNRS. The bandwidth is 6Mb.

Visiting the Library

The Library and Documentation Centre offers the educational community, preferably linked to university studies of art and museum sciences, the chance to become familiar with the facilities by means of guided visits designed to raise awareness of its collection and services as a tool in the research and study of contemporary art. Visits must be requested in advance and will take place from 9 to 10 a.m. The groups can have 20 persons at most.

For more information:

Meeting room

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:  

Services for institutions

 Inter-library loan

The inter-library loan service is specifically for other libraries and museums. Any institution that, in the opinion of those responsible for inter-library loan, does not meet the necessary requirements to guarantee the security of the loan items will be excluded from the loan service. In no case will loans be made to individuals.

Any foreign library that wishes to request a book not available in that country can do so by following the recommendations made by IFLA concerning Inter-Library Loan.

 Loan conditions:

  • The length of the loan will be one month from the time the item is sent. An extension can be requested if the loan period has not yet expired. No new requests will be processed if there are unreturned items past due. No more than three items will be loaned for each request received.
  • The Museo Reina Sofía Library does not cover the cost of such loans, and the following rates are applicable:
    • For Libraries in Spain: each original volume loaned: 8,00 €.
    • For Libraries in other European countries: for each original volume loaned: 16,00 €.
    • For Libraries in the United States and other countries: 32,00 €.
  • The requesting library is responsible for the care and conservation of the works loaned. The work must not leave the premises of the requesting library, it must not be reproduced in any way and it must be returned in appropriate packaging.
  • For the loan of videos, a specific form must be completed.
  • The inter-library loan service does not include reference works, periodicals, reserve items, press dossiers, special material or any other work whose loan may pose a risk to its conservation.

To request documents sufficient bibliographical data must be provided so as to ensure correct identification. The items in the collection are listed in the Library's computerized catalogue, which users are free to consult.

For more information:

Bibliographic exchange

The Library and Documentation Centre has agreements with over 300 other institutions, in Spain and other countries, for the exchange of publications. To broaden our collection we collaborate with the great Spanish and European museums and with universities and research centres related to contemporary art. The Library thus receives catalogues from exhibitions taking place all over the world, in addition to books that are out-of-print and difficult to obtain, the specific magazine issues needed to complete collections, etc.

As an additional aspect of this service, the Library periodically makes a list of documents offered to other institutions, with a view to receiving in exchange other documents that may be more suited to this collection.

List of publications

For more information: