'Astronomicum Caesareum' by Petrus Apianus. Royal Institute and Observatory of the San Fernando Armada © Ministerio de Defensa
CategoryLibrary owned by the state
The oldest observatory in Spain has an important scientific library comprising over 30,000 volumes.
It was created in 1753, on the initiative of the mariner Jorge Juan, for the purpose of teaching future naval officers about astronomy, a science which was essential to navigation. The library has grown throughout its history, and today currently occupies most of the main building. Its collection of old books includes works published between the 15th and 18th centuries, and is particularly interesting to science historians. Its cartographic collection comprises maps, charts and plans of the Spanish coasts dating from the 18th and 19th centuries. It also has an extensive collection of periodicals.
The library's collections are included in the Collective Catalogue of Spanish Bibliographic Heritage, created for the purpose of describing and locating books and other bibliographic items held in libraries and Spanish institutions which, for reason of their antiquity, singularity or value, form part of Spain's Historic Heritage.
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