Historical summary

There are records showing that the monastery has contained manuscripts ever since its founding in the XI century. Indeed, since the XII century, Montserrat has had its own scriptorium, which saw much activity during the XIV and XV centuries. The inauguration of a typography workshop at Montserrat by Abbot Cisneros in the year 1499 helped to ensure the cultural diffusion of the monastery. Over the course of the XVII and XVIII centuries, the Library gradually extended and diversified its collection. Its shelves, according to records, held thousands of works. The most tragic moment in its history occurred during the Napoleonic Wars when, in 1811, the monastery was destroyed and lost the greater part of its bibliographic treasure.

The current Libraryl

The Library as it stands today was founded towards the end of the XIX century and went through a period of remarkable growth during the abbacy of Father Antoni M. Marcet (1913-1946). In a matter of years, the Library's collection grew from 15,000 volumes to approximately 150,000. The Spanish Civil War, followed by the Second World War, put a stop to further growth; yet, over the second half of the century, the Library managed to double its collection.

The collection

The sections on philosophy, theology, biblical sciences, patrology, liturgy, music and the history of art are worthy of particular note, as are its sections on general history, especially with regard to Medieval times, Europe, Catalonia and the territories of the Aragon Crown. There is also a collection on local history and the Spanish Civil War.
  • Monographs:330.000
  • Periodical publications: 6.000
  • Manuscripts: 1.500
  • Incunabula: 400
  • XVI century works: 3.700
  • Engravings: 18.000
  • Ancient maps: 500