Library services

Library – Services for the General Public

In-library consultations

Consultations of the Library’s collections and holdings are only available in the Reading Room since out-of-library loans are no longer possible. Therefore, these consultations require a Library Card and the regulations for Library access and use must be adhered to.

The Reading Room is spread across two floors with different numbered areas allocated to users at the Library’s Reception.

Available in this room are:

  • Wi-Fi with a public internet connection
  • Plug sockets to connect and charge mobile devices
  • Public computers for consulting the Library’s Catalogue, electronic resources under subscription, SIMARS, LaDigitaldelReina and Library documents in DVD or CD formats
  • A computer set up for consulting the Central Archive’s Digital Repository without internet access.
  • Tablet devices available for public use, via the Library Card, for up to two hours, but without leaving the Library.
  • Reprography service.

The Library Guide (in Spanish) offers advice on searching the catalogue and outlines the procedure to follow to consult different collections and holdings, depending on the location of the copies and whether they are free access (in-library), from the repository or digital.

In-library consultations include holdings that are free to access, in the repository or in a digital format. When documents are in different formats, digital consultations are prioritised to facilitate the conservation of copies.

Free-access holdings

Free-access books and magazines/journals are located on the two floors of the Reading Room. Users can take these copies directly from the shelves where they are located and consult them at the allocated desks. Once they have finished, users must leave them in the trolleys or on the tables indicated for such purposes.

The Library Floor Plan indicates the specific areas where copies are located by reference number i.e. an alphanumerical code identifying them and enabling them to be consulted in the Library Catalogue. Broadly speaking, Reading Room publications are distributed as follows:

  • Floor -1: this floor holds alphabetically ordered catalogues and monographs on artists, photographers, film-makers, etc. The reference number of these titles starts with 7/8, followed by the surname of the artist on which the copy is based. For example: 7/8 PICASSO, Pablo; or 7/8 FERRER, Esther. On this floor there are also magazine racks with the latest issues of the periodical publications to which the Library subscribes.
  • Floor +1:the location of different topics related to contemporary art: art techniques, design, architecture, museography, art fairs, collective exhibition catalogues, dictionaries and encyclopaedias, among others. The books are grouped by theme and adhere to the Universal Decimal Classification (UDC), in line with other libraries.

Repository holdings

In addition to the free-access books and magazines/journals, other documents are also conserved in the Library’s repositories and can only be consulted via a loan request and by submitting ID documentation to the Library staff.

With regard to publications that require greater protection (special materials and collections), users can only consult them at tables designated specifically for such purposes on Floor -1. Therefore, only a pencil can be used during the consultation — pens, fountain pens, and markers, etc. are not allowed. These holdings are made available one at a time or three at a time, according to the fragility, value and volume of the materials in question.

If the materials under consultation are part of the Archive and documentary holdings collection, users will be given a specific consultation form which must be filled out in full, signed and returned at the desk on Floor -1.

For further information, please refer to the video tutorial de solicitud de ejemplares de depósito (in Spanish) and the in-library request and loan of repository copies (in Spanish). In addition, Library staff in the Reading Room are available to deal with any enquiries.

Digital holdings

The Library houses a major set of digital resources comprising databases and digitised holdings included in LaDigitaldelReina, and accessible from the Reading Room. In some instances, this can be accessed via the Library’s Wi-Fi and in other cases they must be accessed on the public computers made available for such ends.

Should you require more information on these resources, please refer to the specific document on the Bases de datos (in Spanish), the gallery of serials publications under subscription and the LaDigitaldelReina Help section.

Reserving Copies

Users interested in consulting loaned copies can reserve them from the Library’s Catalogue. When they become available, users will be notified by email and the documents will be set aside in their name for a number of days and will be available for consultation in the Reading Room.

Should you require more information, please refer to the reserving copies (in Spanish) document. In addition, Library staff in the Reading Room are available to deal with any enquiries.


This platform grants access to the Museo’s digitised holdings, enabling them to be explored in depth. The available materials are accessible from the Museo’s network, and consultations from external networks are limited by copyright.

The Library offers in-person sessions and an introduction to LaDigitaldelReina every Wednesday at 11am in the Meeting Room. To attend these twenty-minute sessions, prior registration is required via email by writing to or visitors can sign up at the desk located in the Reading Room.

Should you require more information, please refer to the LaDigitaldelReina Help section.

Mailing Lists of Serials

The mailing list enables information to be disseminated via email. Library users can ask to be included on mailing lists for magazines/journals and any other periodical publication the Library has among its subscriptions by writing to, and will subsequently receive email notifications every time a new issue of interest becomes available in the Library.

Mailing lists you have signed up for can be checked inside your Mi bibliotecaspace within the Catalogue.

The Reproduction of Collections and Holdings

The reproduction of the Library’s collections and holdings can be carried out in the Reprography Room through photographs taken on mobile devices and, when involving materials requiring greater protection, via the Document Access Service (DAS). The reproduction of documents can be carried out for strictly private use for the purposes of research and, therefore, adhering to the regulation established by the Intellectual Property Law.

The use of reproductions*

  • Works in the public domain: these can be reproduced, distributed and/or publicly disclosed, for both personal and private use and without the need for a licence. In all cases, the moral rights of recognising authorship and respecting the entirety of the work will be adhered to.
  • Works with exploitation rights: the applicant is responsible for obtaining the correct authorisations for the reproduction, distribution and/or public disclosure of the works, unless it involves a use safeguarded by one of the legal limits of copyright (quotations, illustration for teaching purposes, etc. regulated from Articles 31 to 40 of Spain’s Intellectual Property Law). Users must acquire a licence from the copyright holders or, if applicable, from the collective rights management bodies representing them, such as CEDRO, VEGAP and SGAE.

* In accordance with Royal Legislative Decree 1/1996, of 12 April, by which the Consolidated Text of Intellectual Property Law is approved.

Reprography Room

The Library has a Reprography Room available on Floor -1 with a self-service photocopier.

For the purposes of conservation, only holdings belonging to the following reference numbers and locations can be reproduced:

  • Free-access copies in the Reading Room (Floors +1 and -1).
  • Books conserved in the repositories under the reference codes MAN, DUP, SUPERMAN, Box Flyers, Large Flyers, VAR and CS.

The reproduction of materials with other reference numbers must be requested from the Document Access Service (DAS).

Photographs taken with mobile devices

In accordance with the licence undersigned by Museo Reina Sofía and CEDRO, part of the Library’s holdings may be photographed with mobile devices and under highly specific conditions. To ensure conservation, only those holdings belonging to the following reference numbers and locations may be reproduced:

  • Free-access copies in the Reading Room (Floors +1 and -1).
  • Books conserved in the repositories under the reference codes MAN, DUP, SUPERMAN, Box Flyers, Large Flyers, VAR and CS.

The reproduction of materials with other catalogue numbers must be requested from the Document Access Service (DAS).

The use of mobile devices must adhere to the following conditions:

  • Photographs must be taken at the desk designated for consulting special collections, opposite the Library staff’s desk.
  • This licence does not cover (and, therefore, does not allow photographs of) sheet music, graphic art and photographic pieces.
  • A maximum of 10% of the work can be photographed.
  • Users must fill out and submit to Library staff the pertinent form indicating the reference number, barcode and number of pages photographed.
  • Parts of materials cannot be photographed in such a way that their total constitutes a unit or compendium.
  • The use of photographs will only be in a personal capacity and for study or research purposes.
  • The terms and conditions outlined in the CEDRO licence are available to users.

Document Access Service (DAS)

The Document Access Service is responsible for providing the reproduction of the Library’s and Central Archive’s collections and holdings for users or institutions that require it. The reproduction of magazine/journal articles, chapters or book extracts, photographs, and sound and audiovisual recordings can be requested. The service, however, is not in charge of copyright, which is the responsibility of the person making the request.

To request a document from the DAS, please write to with known details of the desired publication. Before requesting a document, please consult the Library Catalogue and electronic resources to check to see if they can be found in available holdings.

Once the service’s staff receive requests, they will instruct users on the steps to follow and will draw up a quote, in accordance with the type of reproduction requested and its use. Public-sector rates will be applied, in accordance with the Resolution of 18 July 2014, of the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, by which the Agreement of the Royal Board of Trustees’ Standing Committee is published, and by which commercial prices for rendering the Museo’s services and activities is established (BOE, Official State Gazette, No. 186, of 1 August 2014).

Once the DAS obtains the requested document, users will be notified of its availability by email.

Meeting Room

The Library has a Meeting Room with a 14-person capacity, a space in which users can hold group work meetings, with priority given to those related to contemporary art projects and to prepare the Museo’s activities, as well as the consultation of specific holdings for work groups. The room boasts a large table, chairs, TV screen, whiteboard and different coloured markers, and must be requested from the desk on Floor -1.

This space must be reserved via email at least one day in advance by writing to

The Meeting Room is run according to the regulations of access and use..


The Library periodically organises visits devised to draw attention to its holdings and installations that are part of the mediation programme Almost Books. There are also on-demand guided tours geared towards the education community or groups interested in themes linked to the art world, museology, librarianship and archival science. This type of tour must be requested beforehand via email by writing to, indicating group details and the planned date. Groups must be made up of 15 people.

User Training

With the aim of expanding knowledge on the Library, training sessions are also available to users, as well as different information resources framed within the project Look Closely, which is part of the mediation programme Almost Books.

Donation Proposals

The Library’s collections and holdings are enhanced through different channels, most notably including the donation of bibliographic materials and documents by individuals and institutions. These donations can comprise either a few copies or documents, or extensive series or personal archives of artists, art critics, galleries and other entities linked to contemporary art. This entry channel, free and unconditional, contributes to enriching the Library’s collections and holdings and ensures they are conserved and disseminated among specialists, researchers and members of the public with an interest. Although different types of documents are accepted, they must be consistent with the existing acquisitions policy and adhere to the need for sustainability in the institution’s processes and resources.

For more information, please check the Donations Policy.

Donations policy

Acquisitions are aligned around the following general guidelines:

  • Documents related to contemporary art, culture and thought produced from 1881 onwards and which are not part of the Library Catalogue.
  • Documents included in the Catalogue that are significant and have exhibition value and, therefore, warrant duplicate copies.
  • Periodical publications that complete existing collections.
  • Single collections or issues of serials publications related to contemporary art, the titles of which are not part of the Catalogue.
  • The handwritten copies and personal archives of artists, critics, art galleries and other organisations.

In all cases, the incorporation of Western languages and writings will be prioritised, and any possible exceptions will be duly studied.

As a general criteria, offers which do not fit within these basic guidelines will be rejected, and copies with any of the characteristics below will not be accepted:

  • Books, magazines/journals or printouts bearing no relation to the themes and subjects indicated above.
  • Books, magazines/journals or printouts in languages with very few speakers in the Spanish, Latin American and European spheres, for instance languages with non-Western alphabets. However, there are certain exceptions in relation to works of particular relevance.
  • Books, magazines/journals or printouts that are not in a decent or acceptable state of conservation, for example incomplete, unbound or underlined copies, etc.
  • Re-bound magazines/journals.

Donation procedure

To donate bibliographical or documentary material, the following steps must be followed:

  • Fill out the pertinentdonation proposal form (in Spanish) and send it via email t, stating in the subject line “donation proposal”.

    If the list of materials is long, there is also the possibility of providing personal details on a form and attaching a spreadsheet with the titles put forward for donation, outlining, if necessary, in the case of books, the title, author, publisher, year of publication and ISBN and, for magazines and other serials, the title, publisher, ISSN, issues/volumes and corresponding years of publication.

    To donate an archive, documentary holding, or documentary or library series related to contemporary art, please write to The Library will reply as soon as possible.
  • Sending donated material.

    If the initial assessment of the proposal is favourable, the donation will be sent to the Library to check the physical state of the documents and, if necessary, to formalise its approval. The donation in question can be sent by standard post or delivered in person in the Reading Room. Given that the materials’ state of conservation is a key aspect, the approval of the donation proposal will not be definitive until it is examined.

    Broadly speaking, donations will not be received personally or in-house that have not been previously assessed favourably by the Library.

    The Library will physically evaluate the donation. For all proposals which are ultimately not approved, the Library reserves the right to freely have available copies.

Acquisitions Request

The Library makes a form or wish list available to users to suggest the acquisition of copies which are not currently part of theCatalogue. These purchase suggestions are aligned with the Museo’s area of interest, primarily around contemporary art, and will be conditioned by the availability of resources and by the Library’s acquisitions policy. The formulario de desiderata is available to be downloaded online or to be collected at the desks on both floors of the Reading Room. Once completed, the form can be submitted to Library staff or sent by email to, stating in the subject line “wish list”.

Users can also send these purchase suggestions via their own personal space in the Library catalogue, specifically in the My Library Wish List section. For further information, please refer to the My Library Guide (in Spanish), which contains specific information on this space and its services.


Inter-library loans

The inter-library loan service is aimed exclusively at libraries from other institutions and under no circumstances will loans be made to individuals.

Documents must be requested via email by writing with sufficient bibliographic data to ensure they are identified properly. Excluded from inter-library loans are the following:

  • Full instalments of magazines/journals.
  • Reference works.
  • Publications with the reference codes: REVII, REVVA, FL, LA, RESERVA, ME, SP, MS, DUPII, EPHR, EPH, EPHM, Arch., FAN, COM, CDME, DVDME, CDRME, VINS, VINL.
  • All copies which, in the view of those responsible, do not fulfil the requirements demanded to safeguard the protection of the loaned works

Requests for magazine/journal articles or book chapters will be managed by the Document Access Service (DAS) at the following email address: These requests will adhere to public-sector rates, in accordance with the Resolution of 18 July 2014, of the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, by which the Agreement of the Royal Board of Trustees’ Standing Committee is published, and by which commercial prices for rendering the Museo’s services and activities is established (BOE, Official State Gazette, No. 186, of 1 August 2014).

Inter-library loan conditions for other libraries

  • Inter-library loans last for one month from the time the copy is sent. Extensions may be requested, provided the loan period has not expired. New requests will not be processed once the period for returning the copy has been exceeded.
  • The Museo Reina Sofía Library does not assume the corresponding expenses for requests, establishing the following rates for each loaned volume:
      • For Spanish libraries: €8.00
      • For European libraries: €16.00
      • For libraries from other countries: €32.00

In the case of public institutions and private, non-profit entities, there will be a 50% reduction.

  • The library placing the request is responsible for conserving the loaned works, and the copy must not leave the said library or be reproduced in any format and must be returned fully packaged.
  • The loan will be made solely for research and study purposes and the institution commits to adhering to, at all times, the legislation in force regarding copyright, and to requesting the pertinent licences from the copyright holder for purposes that differ from those indicated and which are not covered by copyright limits.

For those interested, further information can be requested by writing to

Publication Exchanges

The Library maintains publication Exchange Agreements with over one hundred intuitions in Spain and overseas. These agreements have been put in place to disseminate titles published by the Museo among the foremost libraries specialised in contemporary art and to foster the expansion of its holdings, through this collaboration, with other museums, universities and research centres.

As a result, the Library receives exhibition catalogues from around the world, discontinued and hard-to-find books or single issues of magazines/journals which make up the Library’s collections and holdings. Moreover, as an additional part of this service, the Library periodically draws up a list of documents offered to other institutions in the form of exchanges, so as to receive an interchange of documents that fit the specific nature of its holdings.

Institutions wishing to become part of this programme of bibliographical exchange to carry out one-off or periodic exchanges can send their request to

The Museo’s in-house publications are available in the Publications section.

Consulting the Central Archive

Users can consult documents from the Central Archive via a prior appointment system. They must send an email to attaching the request form stating the documents of interest. The request must be made a number of days in advance and the Archive staff will inform users of the results obtained with the email they have provided and will agree a day and time for the in-person consultation of the selected documents. The Central Archive is accessed through the Library entrance.

The consultation of documents can be carried out at the desks reserved for special collections on Floor -1 of the Library’s Reading Room on the day and at the time arranged previously with the Central Archive. To access these facilities, users must show their Library Card, which can be obtained via an online form..

Users cannot simultaneously consult more than one document unit (box), nor can various users consult the same document unit at the same time, or exchange or move the said unit from the user’s desk unless they are returning it. Files must be requested one at a time.

Upon handing over materials to users, the Archive staff will ask for identification, which will be kept until the materials are returned.

Documents must be handled in a way that adheres to the basic regulations of conservation. Therefore, only a pencil can be used during the consultation — pens and fountain pens are not allowed. Users must stringently maintain the original order and photographs taken with mobile devices are strictly forbidden.

When there are digital reproductions of the requested documents in the Central Archive, digital consultations will be prioritised to facilitate the proper conservation of documents and in accordance with that which is stipulated in Royal Decree 1708/2011, Article 25.2.

For further information on consulting Central Archive documents, users can refer to its regulations of access and use..

The Reproduction of Documents

Central Archive users can request photocopies and digital copies. Reproductions will depend on the documents’ state of conservation and that which is established by the legislation in force and specifically in Law 16/1985, of 25 June, on Spanish Historical Heritage and Royal Decree 1708/2011, of 18 November, by which the Spanish Archive System is established and regulated by the Archive System of the General State Administration and its Public Organisations and system of access.

Users must complete the reprography request form and highlight the reproductions to be carried out.

The rates for reproductions are established in the Resolution of 18 July 2014, of the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, by which the Agreement of the Royal Board of Trustees’ Standing Committee is published, and by which commercial prices for rendering the Museo’s services and activities is established (BOE, Official State Gazette, No. 186, of 1 August 2014).

The reproductions obtained are not for commercial use and cannot be given or loaned to third parties. To reproduce certain documents or materials with the aim of being published or reproduced in any medium or support, those interested must sign a standard agreement with the Museo Reina Sofía.

The Archive’s authorisation of reproductions will not cover, under any circumstances, the image rights and copyright of the publications, as established in Articles 17 to 21 and 56 of the Royal Decree Law 11/1996, of 12 April, by which the Consolidated Text of the Intellectual Property Law is approved. In all cases, users are responsible for the corresponding payment of copyright from the holders of the documents reproduced or their legal representatives.