Cartographic Section of the National Library (Biblioteca Nacional) of Madrid
This Centre holds an important collection of maps, charts and atlases as well as books on geography, voyages, astronomy, etc. The cartographic holdings mainly come from the old Royal Library (which in 1836 was re- named the National Library) and the Geographic Centre of the 1st Secretary of State (today the Ministry of Foreign Affairs). These holdings are varied in nature, with a predominance of maps about Spain and of places with which the country has had historical links.
It is the most important collection in Spain regarding modern cartographic holdings, thanks to legislation concerning Legal Trust under which the National Library receives two copies of everything printed in Spain.
The Catalogue of Maps in Spain prior to 1900 in the National Library has been processed by staff of the Ancient Cartographic Section, and is practically finished. It will include all the maps of Spain, on single sheets. At the same time there has been a compilation of material as well as of cartographers, engravers, editors and printers of the maps in question. As an authoritative catalogue it will be useful at a later date for the creation of indexes. This catalogue contains some 2,000 pieces, and we hope to see it published before the end of 1991. In the beginning the catalogue was conceived as an exhaustive work; e.g. not only maps on separate sheets but also all the material found in atlases, as well as in books on travels, geography, astronomy, etc. However, faced with the huge quantity of this type of holding and the fact that it is administrated in a number of sections (Manuscripts, Rare Books, Fine Arts, General and Cartography), we decided to develop the project along two parallel lines.
Within the process of automation of the National Library, we have formed a commission for the study and adaptation of the MARC format for cartographical materials, paying careful attention to old materials (printed as well as manuscript). Consideration was also given to increasing the possibilities of recuperation (! red.) offered by automation. The results of this work has been the creation of the IBERMARC format for cartographic material and it is presently being incorporated into the National Library computer.
Catalogue of Maps of America and the Philippines to 1900
This catalogue has been processed according to the MARC format and presently been put on magnetic tape. It contains maps on single sheets as well as those in atlases, books on travels, etc. It includes the holdings of the Cartographic Section as well as those of the other library departments.
A publication of great interest was the first issue of the Supplemento de Cartografia de la Bibliografia Espanola, which included the material published between 1980 and 1987 (1,368 descriptions and author index). Volume 2, including the 1988 material, is in print, while Volume 3, including the maps of 1989, is also being prepared.
Directory of Cartographic Documentation Centres for Madrid
This project of the Cartographic Section will be of special interest for researchers, given the scattered nature of the holdings in question. In this respect we have sent a questionnaire to all centres which might have holdings of interest.
New map collections and facsimile editions
The Commission for the Celebration of the Fifth Century of American Discovery, Spanish regional governments and universities are proving increasing interest in establishing map collections, atlases and facsimile editions (Navarra, Asturias, Aragón, Andalucia, etc.).
I would also like to mention the publication of many catalogues of exhibitions devoted to the cartography of various Spanish regions, organized by the National Geographic Institute and regional governments.
Aided by the National Geographic Institute, the Spanish Navy Museum is compiling a Catalogue of maps and charts of Spain, and creating a database.
Ministry of Defence
The Ministry of Defence of Spain has created a Catalogue of Maps of America and the Philippines to 1900, including all maps from all departments of the Ministry. The catalogue has been processed according to the MARC format.
Archivo General de Indias (Sevilla)
Finally we shouldn't forget the big project of the Archivo General de Indias, which includes the largest collection of documents about the history of the discovery of the Americas. Their documents are being processed into a computerized database (which will be both textual and visual) and will be completed in 1992.
Ana Herrero, Biblioteca Nacional, Servicio de Cartografia