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General Information

Opening Hours

January 16th to May 31st (except for Holy Week) and October 1st to December 15th

Mondays and Wednesdays from 8:30am to 5pm (Book and other materials service until 4:30pm)

Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:30am to 2:30pm (Book and other materials service until 2pm)

Fridays from 8:30am to 2pm (Books and other materials service until 1:30pm)

Limited Opening Hours

June 1st to September 30th, December 16th to January 15th, Holy Week

Monday to Friday from 8:30am to 2pm (Books and other materials service until 1:30pm)


Museo Nacional del Prado. Casón del Buen Retiro
c/ Alfonso XII, 28. 28014 Madrid


Request for advance request of works:

The Library of the Museo Nacional del Prado is located in the Casón del Buen Retiro, which currently hosts the Study Centre of the Museo del Prado.

The Library is specialised in European plastic arts from the Middle Ages to the 19th century. One of its priorities has always been the creation and consolidation of a bibliographic database on art history in relation to the Museum’s own collection. Currently, it is one of the most important art libraries in our country and an essential reference for art researchers.

The Library holds a collection of some 100,000 books, including monographs and reference works, nearly 1,500 journals, 260 auction catalogues, audio-visual materials, specialised electronic resources, posters and brochures.

Furthermore, the Museo Nacional del Prado Library preserves a distinguished bibliographic heritage of prints and manuscripts dating from before 1910, which are quite prominent due to their quantity (some 7,000 volumes), their specialised nature (treatises on painting and architecture, books on festivities, drawing notebooks and books on iconography, emblems, anatomy and physiognomy) and the scarcity of some of their copies. Although the first books entered into the collection almost a century and a half ago, its growth has accelerated in recent years due to the donation and the purchase of a number of private archives.

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The Luca Giordano Reading Room, inaugurated in 2009, is located in the former Ambassadors Hall, under the splendid vault ceiling painted by Luca Giordano around 1697. It has 36 seats for reading with power connection for laptops, as well as Wi-Fi. There is a freely accessible reference library and an auxiliary room with a collection of monographs, exhibition catalogues and catalogues raisonnés of artists.

The Museo Nacional del Prado Library does not allow material to be loaned and taken outside the facilities. Nevertheless, it provides its collections to other research libraries and specialised interlibrary loan centres.

There is a collection reproduction service for research libraries, specialised centres and individuals for research purposes exclusively, in compliance with the regulations established by the Intellectual Property Law and the Spanish Historical Heritage Law.

Furthermore, the Museo del Prado Library offers a publication exchange service with libraries of museums, cultural institutions, universities and research centres related to the world of Art. It seeks to receive in exchange documents that are suitable for the specificity of their collections. Donations contribute, free of charge, to the growth of the Library’s collections.

The Library offers an information service and guides readers in the use of the resources at their disposal. The library staff provides general information on access, consultation and services. On the other hand, the technical library staff provides specialised bibliographic information, advice on the use of the catalogue and online resources related to art history.

The Library welcomes suggestions for the purchase of works. These desiderata are processed by clicking ‘My Library’ in the online catalogue (OPAC) from the Reading Room or by sending an email to the following address:

The Library organises educational and outreach activities, including guided tours aimed at university teaching members, preferably affiliated with the world of art and museology. The purpose of these activities is the disclosure of the different resources held in the library as a tool for study and research, and as a means for learning about the Prado collections. In order to arrange a guided tour, please send the completed application form available at to

The Library participates in specialised meetings, events, and commemorations. It additionally organises small bibliographical exhibitions and manages the loans of collections for external temporary exhibitions, in accordance with the Decision of the Director of the Museo Nacional del Prado, by which the procedure for the loan of works of art to temporary exhibitions organised by third parties is approved, dated 25 January 2017.