Academic journal article Alexandria

Training Requirements for Archivists, Librarians and Documentation Professionals in Spain and a Case Study at Complutense University

Academic journal article Alexandria

Training Requirements for Archivists, Librarians and Documentation Professionals in Spain and a Case Study at Complutense University

Article excerpt


The collection, organization, preservation and use of information on books and documents are linked to the history of civilization. In Spain, as in other European countries, Libraries and Archives have been essential ingredients of a civilized society and they contain a very rich cultural heritage. As these countries now share their historical and documental heritage, the Spanish Library and Information sector seeks to be a pioneer in the Information Science field.

Following nationwide expropriation of ecclesiastical property by the government in the mid-nineteenth century, the dissolution of monasteries resulted in many important Spanish documents being abandoned. This gave rise to an immediate need to conserve such material. In the nineteenth century, the Escuela Superior de Diplomática was created to train professional staff for custodial work in Archives, Libraries and Museums. This body ceased to exist at the beginning of the twentieth century and, until the 1970s, there was no specific university course available to students of Library and Information Science (LIS). Based on this historical context, we review the key steps in the development of Library and Information Studies in Spain: the granting of university status and the development of university education in Library and Information Science in Spain, specifically at the Complutense University of Madrid. We analyse the historical evolution of the Diploma in LIS and the Degree (Licenciatura) in Documentation until the present day, when the curricula are now being adapted to European Union guidelines. We discuss the creation of the Faculty of Documentation Science at Complutense University as an academic institution now responsible for organizing and managing the Degree in Information and Documentation and the Masters in Information Management, Libraries and Archives and, as a case study, the adaptation process of Spanish curricula in Library and Information Science.


Spanish Diploma Studies in Library and Information Science

The university status of the European Higher Education Area began with the Spanish Royal Decree 3104/1978 in 1978 (Official State Gazette on 9-1-1979), which legislated for the Diploma in Library and Information Science in Spain.

The Decree allowed universities to provide LIS teaching, 'requesting that the Ministry of Education and Science create University Schools of Library and Information Science. The Schools shall organize their teaching according to curricula developed by them, which must to be submitted for Ministry of Education and Science approval. Students who successfully complete the course will obtain the Diploma in Library and Information Science'. In accordance with the Ministerial Order of 24 February 1981, the Ministry of Universities and Research established guidelines for the Diploma curricula development (Table 1). In this case, the curricula are divided into three academic years with a common core of compulsory and optional subjects, 'taking into account that studies aim to train professionals for work in public, local and regional, or specialized libraries that do not involve any particular difficulty, and to provide help in the main general or specialized libraries and documentation centres'.

Within these guidelines, some universities created new qualifications in the early 1980s: Barcelona (with the conversion of the Library School in 1981, assigned to the Regional Council), Granada (1983-84) and Salamanca (1987-88 in the Faculty of Translation and Documentation, though it was created in 1982).This was followed by universities in Murcia (1988), Zaragoza (in 1989, whose studies are integrated into the Faculty of Arts), Madrid (Complutense University in 1990 and the Carlos III University in 1990 - Faculty of Humanities, Communication and Documentation), León (1991, Faculty of Arts), Extremadura (1994), San Pablo-CEU (1994-2003), Valencia (Polytechnic University in 1996), La Coruña (1996, Faculty of Humanities) and, most recently, Vic (1998). …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.