The bequest that led to the creation of the Museu Martorell (Martorell Museum) included, besides the collection of specimens, the founder’s private library, which consisted of works on natural history, archaeology and geography. With this initial collection, the first specialised library in Catalonia that was open to the public was inaugurated in 1882. In 1925 the resources were distributed between two different buildings, making two separate libraries: one attached to Barcelona’s Zoology Museum and the other to the Geology Museum. In 2002 these two libraries unified their catalogues, centralised their services and homologated their procedures, forming the Natural History Museum Library. In 2008 proposals were put forward for establishing the Documentation Centre, which not only incorporates the Library but also administers the Historical Archive and Photographic Archive. Its other responsibilities include organising and utilising the Museum’s documentary resources and selecting, analysing and processing information to ensure it is retrievable and can be made available instantly and effectively. In 2011 the Media Library was opened at the Forum Park building. In addition to monographs and journals aimed at a non-specialist public, particularly children, this library also holds the audiovisual collection.
The mission of the Documentation Centre is to provide the scientific community and general public with the necessary resources for responding to questions concerning the Museum.
Its main function is to conserve, process and disseminate the Museum’s documentary heritage, as well as to collate all the information resources so that they are easily accessible via the website.