The Spain Inside | Digital Hispanic Library of National Library of Spain |Biblioteca Digital Hispánica de la Biblioteca Nacional de España

Biblioteca Digital Hispánica Offers Treasures of Spain as Free Downloads

The Spain Inside | Digital Hispanic Library of National Library of Spain |Biblioteca Digital Hispánica  de la Biblioteca Nacional de España
PHOTO CREDIT: Screen capture from bdh.bne.es, Digital Hispanic Library of the National Library of Spain

The Biblioteca Nacional de España (National Library of Spain) in recent years has undertaken a massive digitalization project known as the Biblioteca Digital Hispánica or Digital Hispanic Library.

Whether you are looking for artwork to use in your home or in your classroom, or you just want to spend some time browsing cool things, BNE has thousands of items available as high-resolution free PDF downloads, no login information required.

The Spain Inside | Digital Hispanic Library of National Library of Spain |Biblioteca Digital Hispánica de la Biblioteca Nacional de España
I’ve spent hours on end looking through cool treasures like this undated chocolate company publicity card. PHOTO CREDIT: Digital Hispanic Library of the National Library of Spain

This video from the BNE website explains (in English) explains Spain’s motives for digitizing its holdings and of what the digital collection consists. It’s long (nearly eight minutes) but watching just the first few minutes through Parte I should give you a decent enough overview.

You can access the Biblioteca Digital Hispánica in many languages, including English and Spanish.

The best place to begin is to check out the “Descubrir colecciones” tab (Discover collections tab if English is selected.) There you’ll see circular photos with descriptions of collections to browse through.

For example, I selected Libros de caballería (Cavalry books)

The Spain Inside | Digital Hispanic Library of National Library of Spain |Biblioteca Digital Hispánica de la Biblioteca Nacional de España
PHOTO CREDIT: BDH of the BNE

and arrived at this results page.

The Spain Inside | Digital Hispanic Library of National Library of Spain |Biblioteca Digital Hispánica de la Biblioteca Nacional de España
PHOTO CREDIT: Screen capture of BNE’s website for BDH.

I selected the third result from the list, a book written in 1545 called “Florando de Inglaterra”  by Germán Gallarde, and the entire digitized book opened in a pdf viewer.

The Spain Inside | Digital Hispanic Library of National Library of Spain |Biblioteca Digital Hispánica de la Biblioteca Nacional de España
I decided I wanted to keep a copy of the cover page, so I clicked the little diskette icon on the left column toolbar to download it. When you hover over the toolbar it will say “Descargar PDF” (Download PDF.) PHOTO CREDIT: Screen capture of BNE’s website for BDH.

I also enjoy looking through the advertising posters section. I have an affinity for singing the San Fermín song, so I was excited to find this poster by Marcelino de Unceta y López for the 1884 San Fermín celebration in Pamplona!

The Spain Inside | Digital Hispanic Library of National Library of Spain |Biblioteca Digital Hispánica de la Biblioteca Nacional de España
Artwork by by Marcelino de Unceta y López. PHOTO CREDIT: BDH of the BNE

The Digital Hispanic Library also offers free streaming music!

You cannot download it, but BNE has set up playlists according to theme that can play from your browser window. While I was writing this post I was listening to the “Canciones populares españolas” playlist.

Maybe I should have started with this advice, but I find it nice to turn on some music and let it play in the background in its window while I I am exploring the art and photo offerings of the Biblioteca Digital Hispánica.

Give it a go! See what treasures you can find to display in your own home, office or classroom!

 

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