The Medical Colloquium, which was founded within the Madrilenian Academy of Medicine (now the Royal National Academy of Medicine) on 13 September 1734, is the custodian of a precious library located in an elaborate building on Arrieta Street.
Since its founding, the library has housed approximately 100, 000 printed volumes. The oldest work is one by Juan German de Regiomonte, the Tabule Directionum, and dates back to Venice, 1504.
Specializing in 18th and 19th century collections, it is to date the most complete for performing retrospective searches. One can find among its most relevant material that relating to Medical History, Physiology, Legal Medicine, Pharmacology, Botany and Hydrology. Also to be found are an array of medical biographies and material on endemic diseases most common during that period (cholera, dysentery, smallpox, etc.).
Other materials of interest such as Radiology, Gastrointestinal Tract, Paediatrics, Gynaecology, and Obstetrics are to be found in collections which have been acquired through private donation. Donors of such material include Doctors Gil Gayarre, Fidel Fernández, Bosch Marín, Botella Llusiá, Rodríguez Abaytúa, Vega Díaz, Díaz-Rubio…
Apart from the monographs, the library contains 1,041 journals no longer open to new publications, as well as approximately 200 working journals which are available through interchange with the Annals of the Royal National Academy of Medicine. Journals are received from all over the world, among which are some Japanese publications very difficult to find in Spain. There can be found theses, final dissertations and medical research papers which have been presented to the many awards competitions convoked annually by the Academy. Finally, the library keeps conference minutes, reference books and offprints.
Special mention should be made of the library’s archives, which have been continually expanded over the years. Here can be obtained a wealth of scholarly insight for the medical historian and other researchers, accounts of academic life, personal correspondence through the years and descriptions of relationships to other official bodies. Such can be obtained from a collection (whose initial phase ends with material up to the year 1820) that is in the process of cataloguing information through the end of the 19th century.
The project of web-based diffusion of this archive is now ongoing.