Mar Pérez Morillo

Mar Pérez Morillo

Last updated on 6 November 2019

Mar Pérez Morillo is Director of Digital Services and Processes at the National Library of Spain 

Morillo 1The National Library of Spain has been digitising its collections since the end of the twentieth century. It launched its digital library in 2007 (for the periodicals) and in 2008 (for the rest of the documents (printed books, manuscripts, incunabula, engravings, maps, music scores, photographs, drawings, etc.). Nowadays the digitised collection comprises more than 2.300 titles of periodicals and more than 220.000 for the rest of the formats, most of them publicly available on the BNE website.

Morillo 2Due to the wide range of different formats, the size of the collection and the limited resources, the BNE follows a strict roadmap of priorities for digitising and preserving its digital collections.

One of the first priorities for the BNE is digitising and preserving for the long term special collections on fragile media or those documents that can only be accessed on obsolete players, like wax cylinders, piano rolls, slate records, audio cassettes or videotapes. This kind of ambitious and challenging digitisation projects need the support of partnerships to be afforded. This was the case of the agreement that and the BNE reached for the preservation of the digital collections at the National Library of Spain. is a public corporate entity belonging to the Ministry of Energy, Tourism and Digital Agenda that works for digital convergence with Europe to improve public services and develop the digital economy. In 2018 and in the framework of this agreement, and the BNE launched a project to digitised sound cartridges, audio cassettes and video tapes, run by the Sony company Memnon, resulting 12,972 digitised ítems of a total collection of 219,134 items, that is, a 6% of the BNE total collection of cartridges, cassettes and videotapes.

This project has been an important step ahead for the BNE but also means that much more effort must be put on the digitisation of this at-risk library collections.

As a second step, the BNE has ingested in its long-term preservation environment the whole digitised set of audio materials (995 cartridges and 6,255 cassettes). The 5,722 video tapes recently digitised are also being prepared to be ingested in the preservation system in the short term.

For the time being, the total amount of digital information preserved by the BNE (including mainly other formats as printed books, manuscripts, maps, engravings, photographs, piano rolls, wax cylinders…) is around 840 TB, so we do have a long way ahead.

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