- Issue date: 04/11/2011
- Printing Process: Offset
- Paper: Estucado, engomado, fosforescente
- Size of stamp: 40,9 x 28,8 mm. (horizontal)
- Sheet effects: 50
- Postal value of the stamps: 0,80 €
- Print run: 300.000
- Dented: 13 ¾
The Important Events series celebrates the 300 anniversary of the National Library. The stamp depicts part of the centre pediment.
More than 28 million documents, including some 3,000 manuscripts and 30,000 printed books, make up the oldest cultural institution in Spain. Unique works such as the Poema de Mío Cid (XIII century), the Beato de Fernando I and Doña Sancha (XI century), the Fuero Juzgo (X century) or the first grammar of the Castilian language (XV century) by Antonio de Nebrija are some of the jewels of the National Library.
The library was founded by the first king of the Bourbon dynasty, Felipe V, in late 1711 and opened in 1712 in the passageway connecting the Real Alcázar with the Convent of the Incarnation (Madrid). It was born as a Royal Library and its statutes, written four years later, appointed the King's confessor, Juan Ferreras, as librarian. In 1761 a new legislation was drafted appointing librarians as "servants of the Royal Household," with the privileges this implied. These employees were entitled to legal and theological training; teachings in Latin, Greek, Hebrew and Arabic, as well as history, archaeology and other sciences.
In 1836, the Royal Library ceased to be a royal institution and was given the name of National Library depending on the government. Twenty years later the corps of Faculty Archivists, Librarians and Archaeologists was created and the institution became the head of the library network. In the following two hundred years the Library changed its location several times until the current building was commissioned to architect Francisco Jareño. On March 16th 1896 the new venue located in Madrid's Paseo de Recoletos, with its 35 rooms and a large reading room opened to the public. Since the approval of the Rules of Legal Deposit in 1957, the National Library gathers all types of documents that have made the legal deposit, be it audio, audiovisual, maps or printed brochures. The enormous amount of funds collected over three centuries has led to the building of a new centre in Alcala de Henares to keep them all.
Currently, the National Library is one of the most important in the world, it is completely computerized and its aim is to be useful and efficient to all members of society.