FAQ Archive and library

1. What is the Study Centre?

The Archive and Library at the MACBA Study Centre, which opened its doors in December 2007, expand the Museum’s scope by strengthening its role as a centre for research, debate and diffusion of contemporary thought.

Both of these documentary holdings are specialised in contemporary artistic practices, focusing on a timeframe that matches that covered by the Museum’s exhibitions and activities and by the artworks in the MACBA Collection, with which they are closely linked. This enhances and boosts their potential to generate new interpretations and readings throughout the history of contemporary art.

The documentary material that constitutes the Archive and Library is structured into holdings and collections, which include the archives of individuals and entities, artist’s books, posters, photographs, invitations and pamphlets, etc., as well as reference books and audiovisual documents. The accessibility and conservation requirements of these materials determine whether they are stored in the Library or the Archive. Both have the mission to preserve them, publicise their content and support research on contemporary artistic practices that draws on these documents as its raw material.

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2. How do I get to the MACBA Library and Archive?

The Library and Archive are located in the MACBA Study Centre, which is at Plaça dels Àngels, 8, just in front of the main Museum building.

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3. Who can use the Library and the Archive?

The Library and the Archive are open to the public, free of charge. Nonetheless, we recommend that you read the guidelines for entry and use of the MACBA Study Centre.

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4. Is it necessary to make a reservation to use the Library and the Archive?

Appointments are not required to use the Library. The first time you visit the Library you will be asked to show your DNI or passport at the security desk and fill in a form. If you plan to use the library regularly, you can apply for a Library card at no cost. You can also enter with a Friends of MACBA card.

To use the Archive appointments are required. Material viewed in this room must be requested at least 48 hours in advance by e-mail at arxiu@macba.cat.

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5. What items can I take into the Library and the Archive?

The use of books belonging to the user or to other libraries is permitted, as long as said books are relevant to the consultation and related to the study of contemporary art. Laptops and still cameras are also permitted. Items such as bags, backpacks, wallets, computer covers, etc. may not be taken inside and must be left at the reception area, where users will find lockers for storing their belongings and trays on which to place the items they need for their work. Mobile phones may not be used in the reading room, nor may scissors, cutters, glue, ink, post-its or any items that could damage the books. Library materials must be handled with care. Underlining or marking the books in any way is strictly forbidden. Food and drink (including bottles of water) are prohibited.

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6. Can I access the Library and Archive catalogues online?

Yes, see the Library and Archive sections to access their catalogues.

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Yes, you can contact the Library at biblioteca@macba.cat or call 93 481 33 66. For queries on the Archive, write us at arxiu@macba.cat or call 93 481 79 05.

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8. Can I connect my laptop to the Internet?

Yes, a Wi-Fi connection is available. You can request the username and password from the Library reception desk. The access data changes every day.

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9. Can I photocopy?

As a general rule, the Study Centre allows users to copy (by means of photocopies or digital photographs) all items belonging to the Library that are in a good state of conservation, as long as the copying process does not alter their condition and the copies are for research or academic study purposes. Both black and white and colour photocopies may be made. The self-service photocopiers provided are coin operated, but they do not return change. A change machine located in the copying room accepts notes and dispenses coins. Documents in the bibliographic reference section or the Archive may not be photocopied, and may only be reproduced by means of digital photography.

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10. Can I borrow books from the Library?

No, we do not have a loans service.

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11. Can I make acquisition requests for the Library?

As a general rule, we accept user suggestions for the purchase of publications for the Library. However, we are currently forced to suspend this service due to a lack of funds for new acquisitions. As soon funding resumes, we will review this point.

12. Can I arrange a group visit to learn about the Archive, the Library and its services?

Yes, educational institutions and professional groups can request a group tour of the Archive and Library by emailing arxiu@macba.cat and biblioteca@macba.cat

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13. Can I donate books or archive material?

Yes, both the Archive and the Library welcome donations of books and other materials in its areas of specialisation, as long as they are not already in our holdings. If you would like to make a donation, please write to us at arxiu@macba.cat or biblioteca@macba.cat specifying the details of your donation.

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14. Can I do work experience at the MACBA Study Centre?

If you are enrolled at an official university, you can do work experience at the Study Centre. Write to us at centredestudis@macba.cat , with your curriculum vitae, and specify the dates on which you would like to do work experience, along with your availability.

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15. Can I use the Centre as a research base for a period of time?

Yes, the MACBA Study Centre runs an ongoing programme that allows researchers, artists and others to apply for a three-month (renewable) research residence at our Centre.

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