DUBLIN, Ohio, October 19, 2015—The Universidad Complutense de Madrid, one of the world's oldest universities, has agreed to add more than 2 million records to WorldCat, the world's largest collection of library data, effectively opening its valuable collections to researchers and readers around the world who share an interest in Hispanic culture.
The Complutense Library contains works of the great writers and thinkers of the Spanish-speaking world and beyond. The immense bibliographic heritage that the University brings to WorldCat comprises more than 3 million books and 170,000 electronic books and journals, and includes sizeable special collections such as 11,000 manuscripts, 741 incunabula and nearly 100,000 printed works from the 16th to the 18th century.
The digital collection includes 120,000 books digitized by the Google Books Project, preserved in The HathiTrust Digital Library, as well as images of engravings, personal archives, theses and photographic collections. The Complutense University also contributes to major European projects such as The European Library and Europeana, both of them committed to greater exposure and promotion of the continent's digital cultural heritage.
"WorldCat offers greater visibility and international presence for our large and rare collections, and the opportunity to make them available to the global academic community," said Manuela Palafox Parejo, Head of the Complutense Library. "Our contribution to WorldCat also makes it possible for us to become part of an international cooperative library network that facilitates the management and sharing of knowledge, and provides universal access to information."
"OCLC welcomes Spain's Complutense University, one of Europe's oldest and most revered educational institutions," said Eric van Lubeek, Vice President, Managing Director, OCLC EMEA and Asia Pacific. "We are delighted to make the University's rich resources discoverable to researchers and readers on a global scale."
The origin of the Complutense University dates to the late 13th century, when Sancho IV of Castile granted the Archbishop of Toledo, Gonzalo García Gudiel, a license to create the General School of Study in Alcalá (Estudio de Escuelas Generales de Alcalá) in the city of Alcalá de Henares in the spring of 1293.
Francisco Jiménez de Cisneros, Cardinal and Archbishop of Toledo, Regent of Castile and alumnus of the General School, established the Complutensis Universitas (the Latin name of Complutense University), through a Papal Bull granted by Pope Alexander VI on 13 April 1499. Cisneros provided the new university with a vast area of rustic and urban land as a show of his support for the university.
In the academic year 1509–1510, the Complutense already operated with five major schools: Arts and Philosophy, Theology, Canon Law, Philology and Medicine. The prestige of the studies and teachers at the Complutense became the model on which new universities in Latin America would be established.
The Universidad Complutense de Madrid is one of several Spanish libraries to join the OCLC community of libraries from the Europe, Middle East and Africa region. The EMEA Regional Council will hold its annual meeting in Madrid in 2016.
Other prestigious libraries based in Madrid are members of OCLC, the world's largest library cooperative, including the National Library of Spain (BNE), which contributes records to WorldCat, and the renowned IE Business School, which implemented OCLC's WorldShare Management Services in 2013.
OCLC is a nonprofit global library cooperative providing shared technology services, original research and community programs so that libraries can better fuel learning, research and innovation. Through OCLC, member libraries cooperatively produce and maintain WorldCat, the most comprehensive global network of data about library collections and services. Libraries gain efficiencies through OCLC's WorldShare, a complete set of library management applications and services built on an open, cloud-based platform. It is through collaboration and sharing of the world's collected knowledge that libraries can help people find answers they need to solve problems. Together as OCLC, member libraries, staff and partners make breakthroughs possible.