Normas de Acceso y Consulta de Fondos en la Biblioteca General Histórica

Regulation of Access and Consultation of Collections in the Historical Library

Approved by the Standing Committee of the Governing Council (19 February, 2010) and endorsed by the Governing Council of the University of Salamanca (25 February, 2010)


The origin of the General Historical Library of the University of Salamanca dates back to the birth of the Estudio Salmantino in the thirteenth century. Since then until the 1950s —when it was turned into the University’s General Library, the Old Library together with the annexed premises equipped towards the late nineteenth century were the only library services at the University of Salamanca.

As a University library, it received in the late eighteenth century the largest part of the collections existing in the Royal College of Jesuits of Salamanca and in colleges and schoolhouses of the city. These collections added to the historical holdings belonging to the University. In turn it reunited modern collections for study. Being largely prior to 1958, they make up part of the Spanish Historical Heritage, according to the Law 16/1985 of the 25th June.

After the Ecclesiastical Confiscations of Mendizábal, the Library added the category of “Salamanca Provincial Library” to its university status, under which it hosted disentailed collections, together with the office of Salamanca Literary Property and the Legal Deposit, the latter since its inception between 1958 and 1982.

Finally, since the creation of the University of Salamanca Secretariado de Publicaciones (Bureau of Publications) in 1943, the General Library is the recipient of a copy of every item published by the Service.

Since 1995 the Library has been used solely as a research center whose main functions are related to the custody, processing and dissemination of its bibliographic collections, together with its own build-up and the maintenance of collections in support of research. In 2006 it acquired the official name of Historical Library.


Article 1.

The Historical Library is the research center at the University of Salamanca in charge of guarding, processing and disseminating the bibliographic heritage of the university together with the collections acquired or deposited in it by virtue of its historic and current functions.

Article 2.

The library collections include books, pamphlets, periodicals, plans, maps and special materials, which are divided into the following classes:

  1. Historical collection:
    • codices, manuscripts and fragments, including typewritten originals
    • Books, pamphlets, periodicals, maps and all kinds of materials printed by printing procedures manual (15th century - 1830)
    • o Any other collection as determined by its unique value in relation to their content, origin or physical characteristics.
  2. Collections related to Salamanca:
    • Publications of Salamanca prior to 1958, and Legal Deposit (1958-1982)
    • Newspapers and periodicals from Salamanca
    • o Publications of the University of Salamanca (since 1943)
  3. Express bequests and donations
  4. Multidisciplinary university collections of medium antiquity (from 1830).
  5. Modern research support collections

The furniture and globes located in the old library are also part of the historical heritage linked to the Historical Library.

Article 3.

The General History Library's main objective is to maintain its bibliographic collection while making conservation and dissemination compatible. To achieve this objective it is necessary to regulate the right of access for consultation and use of material kept in it.


Article 4.

Access to the Library and its collections is free of charge and unrestricted after the presentation of any of the credentials that are specified below.

Article 5.

Researchers will fill in a form at the reception desk of the Library. This form will be incorporated into the personal file and will be valid for one year, except for lecturers and staff of the University of Salamanca. In those cases, it will be valid while the USAL license remains in use.

Article 6.

For each request for items from the repository, a request form with the date, details of the work, name and signature of the user will be produced.

Article 7.

Access to the Consultation Room with overcoats, handbags, purses or briefcases is prohibited. They must be deposited in the lockers or be handed over to the Library staff.

Article 8.

The only objects that can be introduced into the Consultation Room are graphite pencil, blank paper, pen drive and personal computer without case. No playback devices –scanner, camera, etc.– are allowed, except in exceptional cases authorised by the Director of the Library.

Article 9.

Introducing your own books into the Consultation Room must be requested to and authorised by the Library staff. They will check them upon entry and when leaving the room.

Article 10.

When leaving the Consultation Room, users must deliver the works to the Library staff, who will review the material returned, as well as laptops, folios and any books of your own.


Article 11.

Consultation of the Old Repository needs authorisation in advance (article 2. a)

Article 12.

For the best performance of research, to avoid delays in service, and to ensure that the works to be consulted are available, the applicant must first send a letter or email and justifying the research and requesting the reservation of the book list or the type of materials to be consulted. The Library will inform you in writing about the application.

Artículo 13.

If you have not been able to do so previously, the schedule for reserving materials and authorising by the Library reception is from 9:00 to 14:00. Monday to Friday. Once authorised and reserved, the consultation can be performed during the opening hours of the Library.

Article 14.

In order to be considered as a researcher with right of access to the Historical repository, the following accreditations are required:

  • Teachers and staff of the University of Salamanca will show the USAL card.
  • Students at the University of Salamanca, including doctorate students, will present their student card, together with a letter from a professor at the University of Salamanca indicating the research topic and type of repository or repositories they want to access.
  • Teachers from other Spanish or foreign universities, research centers, members of national academies and similar institutions in other countries, as well as archival and library professionals, will present their ID card or passport, together with a valid accreditation that identifies them as such.
  • Users interested in consulting the Historical repository who are not included in any of the preceding paragraphs will require prior authorisation. They must justify their profession and the nature and characteristics of their research, and indicate the type of repository or repositories they want to access and the expected duration of their investigation. A letter of introduction from a recognised professional in the field of research is advisable. If your research has been approved, you must present a written authorisation in the library together with some form of ID or passport and the original professional accreditation.


Article 15.

To see the Newspaper collections and for the rest of the collections, it is not necessary to book in advance, except to ensure availability.

Article 16.

Users will show any of the following accreditations:

  • Teachers, administrative staff and students at the University of Salamanca must show their USAL card.
  • Users outside the University of Salamanca must present an ID card or passport. For certain collections it will be necessary to justify the need to use the library’s repositories in your research.


Article 17.

Only black graphite pencil will be used during the consultation of the works. Researchers will find suitable pencils on the tables of the room.

Article 18.

Introducing any object into the books as means of bookmark is prohibited. Do not write, trace, underline, etc. on their sheets or covers. The library will provide easels and the right instruments to keep the books open.

Article 19.

You can see two books simultaneously and up to 10 a day. Consultation of a larger number –in the event that the investigation so requires– must be requested and it must be expressly authorised by the management of the Library.

Article 20.

New orders already authorised can be placed up to half an hour before the closing of the reading room.

Access will be denied to those items from the Historical Collection and the Newspapers holdings which are available in full text in facsimile or digital format. Instead, these items can be consulted in the room or on the Internet (through the catalogue, in the University of Salamanca Gredos Repository or in virtual libraries).

AAlso, consulting some originals may be restricted for conservation reasons or they may be on display or under restoration. In such cases the Library will provide copies. If the type of research requires the viewing of these originals, consultation must be requested, justified and specifically authorised by the management of the Library.


Article 21.

Reproduction of the bibliographical collection is allowed, depending on the means -technical and of personnel- available to the Library and subject to the price established by the University of Salamanca.

Article 22.

Reproductions may be requested in any format, firstly provided that the Library has the technical means to produce them, and secondly that that copy process does not involve deterioration of the originals. In that case, an alternative copy medium will be offered.

Article 23.

Requests for reproductions will be applied for by filling in the forms available at the reception desk, or sending a letter or an e-mail to the Library.

Article 24.

Any reproductions provided by the Library will be used only for research purposes. Any public use of those copies require prior authorisation by the University of Salamanca.

V. Final Provision

Article 25.

Any user of the services of the General Historical Library of the University of Salamanca may submit complaints to its Management office if they feel their rights have been infringed.