Reading room

Around 30,000 volumes, including books, magazines and an extensive section of general and specialised reference in art history, of free access. Display cases with the most recent bibliographic acquisitions and the latest issues of the magazines in circulation. 54 reading points with connections for laptops and Wi-Fi. 6 PC terminals for accessing the online catalogue, databases and Internet. Consult the microforms.  

Requesting documents in advance

By means of a form, you can request documents from the storeroom in advance so that they are ready for you on the day you come. You can request a maximum of 5 documents at a time and they will be available for you at the reading room desk for 48 hours.  

Order form

Interlibrary loan and document supply

The libraries at a state level can request the loan of a document, or part of a document photocopied, from the collection, for research. The length of the loan is of 30 calendar days, from the date the copy is sent. A maximum of 3 copies per request will be loaned. The loaned documents must not leave the library that requested them. If they are not returned, due to loss or theft, or if they are returned damaged, the applicant must replace them with other copies of the same edition. If they are documents that are out-of-stock, they should be replaced by copies of similar characteristics. Until this obligation has been fulfilled, no further documents can be requested for loan.  

Material excluded from interlibrary loans

  • Works which make up the reserve collection (until 1901)
  • Works of general reference (encyclopaedias, dictionaries, etc.)
  • Periodical publications (magazines, newsletters, etc.)
  • Large-sized books
  • Illustrated books with accompanying sheets or material (CD-Roms, discs, etc.)
  • Audiovisuals and microforms
  • Ephemeral Material (press packs, small exhibition catalogues)
  • Of the works printed between 1901 and 1951, for which there are no duplicates
  • The Library can decide that a document is excluded from the loans for reasons of preservation and/or conservation

How to request documents and photocopies

The requests for documents should be duly identified, and in the case of photocopies, the pages listed and/or marked. Send them to [email protected]

Bibliographic information

The bibliographic information service aims to:

- Assist the user to solve any doubt that you are related to the operation and use of the services or resources of the library.

- Help the user to obtain any information or document you need for study, teaching or research, will find it in the library or not.

Queries can be performed personally, by phone or by the request form.

In the case of an exhaustive search, we recommend that you perform the check in person.

Remember, to find out if we have a document, or if you have information about a specific topic, you can directly search the library catalog.

Request form




The user can consult the database of restricted access to the library. At this moment we have the following:

International Bibliography of Art (IBA). Resource for scholarly literature on Western art, IBA is the successor to the Bibliography of the History of Art (BHA).

Index of Christian Art. Database of medieval art to the art of the Renaissance, published by the Princeton University (USA).

Artprice. Database specializing in auctions of art.

Bases de datos CSIC. Mainly collected articles of journals, and selectively, conference proceedings, serials, compilations, reports, and monographs. Topics: art, archaeology, history ...

Bibliographical exchange

Option to establish bibliographical exchange. You can check on the availability of duplicates: journals (1) journals (2) (indicate title, year, volume and number), books.

Send requests to [email protected]

Document reproduction


The Library material can be photocopied in black and white or in colour, provided they are not books or magazines from the reserve collection, documents prior to 1950, depending on their state of conservation, or if they are large-sized. It is also not possible to photocopy fragile or brittle documents due to the composition of the paper; with evident physical imperfections (rips, tears, folds or insect holes), in paper support that is difficult to handle due to ink corrosion; with poor quality binding or hard binding that obliges the document to be forced open; larger than A3, originals on paper but painted or written in pencil; restored documents, and singular, rare or valuable binding.The library staff will assess the state of the document in each case.Reproductions will be done with the exclusive aim of research and respecting the regulations established with regard to intellectual property rights.The photocopy service will stop functioning 15 minutes prior to the closure of the Library.

Digital reproduction

Possibility of scanning documents. You can take photos of books with your camera, without flash, provided the images are for study and research and that you have requested to do so beforehand from the library staff. 


Free Wi-Fi connection

User training

You can request training sessions related to a specific topic or resource at [email protected]

Museu Nacional - Serveis Biblioteca