The Irish are a Celtic nation and ethnic group native to the island of Ireland, who share a common Irish ancestry and culture. Ireland has been inhabited for about 12,500 years according to archaeological studies. For most of Ireland's recorded history, the Irish have been a Gaelic people. Viking invasions of Ireland during the 8th to 11th centuries established the cities of Dublin, Waterford and Limerick. Anglo-Normans conquered parts of Ireland in the 12th century, while England's 16th/17th-century conquest and colonisation of Ireland brought a large number of English and Lowland Scots people to parts of the island the north. Today, Ireland is made up of the Republic of the smaller Northern Ireland; the people of Northern Ireland hold various national identities including British, Northern Irish or some combination thereof. The Irish have their own customs, music, sports and mythology. Although Irish was their main language in the past, today most Irish people speak English as their first language.
The Irish nation was made up of kin groups or clans, the Irish had their own religion, law code and style of dress. There have been many notable Irish people throughout history. After Ireland's conversion to Christianity, Irish missionaries and scholars exerted great influence on Western Europe, the Irish came to be seen as a nation of "saints and scholars"; the 6th-century Irish monk and missionary Columbanus is regarded as one of the "fathers of Europe", followed by saints Cillian and Fergal. The scientist Robert Boyle is considered the "father of chemistry", Robert Mallet one of the "fathers of seismology". Famous Irish writers include Oscar Wilde, W. B. Yeats, Samuel Beckett, George Bernard Shaw, Bram Stoker, James Joyce, C. S. Lewis and Seamus Heaney. Notable Irish explorers include Brendan the Navigator, Sir Robert McClure, Sir Alexander Armstrong, Sir Ernest Shackleton and Tom Crean. By some accounts, the first European child born in North America had Irish descent on both sides. Many presidents of the United States have had some Irish ancestry.
The population of Ireland is about 6.3 million, but it is estimated that 50 to 80 million people around the world have Irish forebears, making the Irish diaspora one of the largest of any nation. Emigration from Ireland has been the result of conflict and economic issues. People of Irish descent are found in English-speaking countries Great Britain, the United States and Australia. There are significant numbers in Argentina and New Zealand; the United States has the most people of Irish descent, while in Australia those of Irish descent are a higher percentage of the population than in any other country outside Ireland. Many Icelanders have Scottish Gaelic forebears. During the past 12,500 years of inhabitation, Ireland has witnessed some different peoples arrive on its shores; the ancient peoples of Ireland—such as the creators of the Céide Fields and Newgrange—are unknown. Neither their languages nor the terms they used to describe; as late as the middle centuries of the 1st millennium the inhabitants of Ireland did not appear to have a collective name for themselves.
Ireland itself was known by a number of different names, including Banba, Fódla, Ériu by the islanders and Hiverne to the Greeks, Hibernia to the Romans. Scotland takes its name from Scota, who in Irish mythology, Scottish mythology, pseudohistory, is the name given to two different mythological daughters of two different Egyptian Pharaohs to whom the Gaels traced their ancestry explaining the name Scoti, applied by the Romans to Irish raiders, to the Irish invaders of Argyll and Caledonia which became known as Scotland. Other Latin names for people from Ireland in Classic and Mediaeval sources include Attacotti and Gael; this last word, derived from the Welsh gwyddel "raiders", was adopted by the Irish for themselves. However, as a term it is on a par with Viking, as it describes an activity and its proponents, not their actual ethnic affiliations; the terms Irish and Ireland are derived from the goddess Ériu. A variety of historical ethnic groups have inhabited the island, including the Airgialla, Fir Ol nEchmacht, Fir Bolg, Érainn, Eóganachta, Conmaicne and Ulaid.
In the cases of the Conmaicne, Érainn, it can be demonstrated that the tribe took their name from their chief deity, or in the case of the Ciannachta, Eóganachta, the Soghain, a deified ancestor. This practice is paralleled by the Anglo-Saxon dynasties' claims of descent from Woden, via his sons Wecta, Baeldaeg and Wihtlaeg; the Greek mythographer Euhemerus originated the concept of Euhemerism, which treats mythological accounts as a reflection of actual historical events shaped by retelling and traditional mores. In the 12th century, Icelandic bard and historian Snorri Sturluson proposed that the Norse gods were historical war leaders and kings, who became cult figures set into society as gods; this view is in agreement with Irish historians such as Francis John Byrne. One legend states that the Irish were descended from one Míl Espáine, whose sons conquered Ireland around 1000 BC or
Intendant (government official)
An intendant was and sometimes still is a public official in France, Spain and Latin America. The intendancy system was a centralizing administrative system developed in France; when France won the War of the Spanish Succession and the House of Bourbon was established on the throne of Spain, the intendancy system was extended to Spain and the Spanish Empire. Regions were divided into districts administered by the intendant; the title continues to be used in Spain and parts of Spanish America for particular government officials. Intendants were royal civil servants in France under the Old Regime. A product of the centralization policies of the French crown, intendants were appointed "commissions," and not purchasable hereditary "offices," which thus prevented the abuse of sales of royal offices and made them more tractable and subservient emissaries of the king. Intendants were sent to supervise and enforce the king's will in the provinces and had jurisdiction over three areas: finances and justice.
Their missions were always temporary, which helped reduce favorable bias toward a province, were focused on royal inspection. Article 54 of the Code Michau described their functions as "to learn about all crimes and financial misdealings committed by our officials and of other things concerning our service and the tranquility of our people". In the 17th and 18th centuries, the intendants were chosen from the noblesse de robe or the upper-bourgeoisie, they were masters of requests in the Conseil des parties. They were chosen by the Controller-General of Finances who asked the advice of the Secretary of State for War for those who were to be sent in border provinces, they were young: Charles Alexandre de Calonne became an intendant at the age of 32, Turgot and Louis Bénigne François Berthier de Sauvigny at the age of 34, Louis-Urbain-Aubert de Tourny at the age of 40. A symbol of royal centralization and absolutism, the intendant had numerous adversaries; those nostalgic for an administration based on noble lineage saw intendants as parvenus and usurpers of noble power.
Partisans of a less absolute monarchy called. Jacques Necker, the only Minister of Finances since 1720 who had not himself been an intendant, accused them of incompetence because of their youth and social aspirations; the cahiers de doléances of 1789 depicted them as over zealous agents of fiscal policies which weighed on the people. The term intendant was used for certain positions close to the Controller-General: intendants of finance intendants of commerce intendants of the sovereign councilIn the same way, the term intendant général was used for certain commissioned positions close to the State Secretaries of War and of the Navy; as early as the 15th century, the French kings sent commissioners to the provinces to report on royal and administrative issues and to undertake any necessary action. These agents of the king were recruited from among the masters of requests, the Councillors of State and members of the Parlements or the Court of Accounts, their mission lasted for a limited period.
Along with these, there were commissioners sent to the army, in charge of provisioning the army and finances. Such commissioners are found in Corsica as early as 1553, in Bourges in 1592, in Troyes in 1594, in Limoges in 1596; when Henry IV ascended the throne in 1589, one of his prime focuses was to reduce the privileges of the provincial governors who, in theory, represented "the presence of the king in his province" but had, during the civil wars of the early modern period, proven themselves to be intractable. The Intendants to the provinces —- the term "Intendant" appears around 1620 during the reign of Louis XIII – became an effective tool of regional control. Under Louis XIII's minister Cardinal Richelieu, with France's entry into the Thirty Years' War in 1635, the Intendants became a permanent institution in France. No longer mere inspectors, their role became one of government administrators. During the Fronde in 1648, the members of Parlement of the Chambre Saint-Louis demanded that the Intendants be suppressed.
At the end of the Fronde, the Intendants were reinstated. When Louis XIV was in power, the Marquis of Louvois, War Secretary between 1677 and 1691, further expanded the power of the provincial intendants, they monitored Louis's refinements of the French military, including the institution of a merit promotion system and a policy of enlistment limited to single men for periods of four years. After 1680, Intendants in France had a permanent position in a fixed region; the position of Intendant remained in existence until the French Revolution. The title was maintained thereafter for military officers with responsibility for financial auditing at regimental level and above. Appointed and revoked by the king and reporting to the Controller-General of Finances, the Intendant in his "g
Washington, D. C. formally the District of Columbia and referred to as Washington or D. C. is the capital of the United States. Founded after the American Revolution as the seat of government of the newly independent country, Washington was named after George Washington, first President of the United States and Founding Father; as the seat of the United States federal government and several international organizations, Washington is an important world political capital. The city is one of the most visited cities in the world, with more than 20 million tourists annually; the signing of the Residence Act on July 16, 1790, approved the creation of a capital district located along the Potomac River on the country's East Coast. The U. S. Constitution provided for a federal district under the exclusive jurisdiction of the U. S. Congress, the District is therefore not a part of any state; the states of Maryland and Virginia each donated land to form the federal district, which included the pre-existing settlements of Georgetown and Alexandria.
The City of Washington was founded in 1791 to serve as the new national capital. In 1846, Congress returned the land ceded by Virginia. Washington had an estimated population of 702,455 as of July 2018, making it the 20th most populous city in the United States. Commuters from the surrounding Maryland and Virginia suburbs raise the city's daytime population to more than one million during the workweek. Washington's metropolitan area, the country's sixth largest, had a 2017 estimated population of 6.2 million residents. All three branches of the U. S. federal government are centered in the District: Congress and the U. S. Supreme Court. Washington is home to many national monuments, museums situated on or around the National Mall; the city hosts 177 foreign embassies as well as the headquarters of many international organizations, trade unions, non-profit, lobbying groups, professional associations, including the World Bank Group, the International Monetary Fund, the Organization of American States, AARP, the National Geographic Society, the Human Rights Campaign, the International Finance Corporation, the American Red Cross.
A locally elected mayor and a 13‑member council have governed the District since 1973. However, Congress may overturn local laws. D. C. residents elect a non-voting, at-large congressional delegate to the House of Representatives, but the District has no representation in the Senate. The District receives three electoral votes in presidential elections as permitted by the Twenty-third Amendment to the United States Constitution, ratified in 1961. Various tribes of the Algonquian-speaking Piscataway people inhabited the lands around the Potomac River when Europeans first visited the area in the early 17th century. One group known as the Nacotchtank maintained settlements around the Anacostia River within the present-day District of Columbia. Conflicts with European colonists and neighboring tribes forced the relocation of the Piscataway people, some of whom established a new settlement in 1699 near Point of Rocks, Maryland. In his Federalist No. 43, published January 23, 1788, James Madison argued that the new federal government would need authority over a national capital to provide for its own maintenance and safety.
Five years earlier, a band of unpaid soldiers besieged Congress while its members were meeting in Philadelphia. Known as the Pennsylvania Mutiny of 1783, the event emphasized the need for the national government not to rely on any state for its own security. Article One, Section Eight, of the Constitution permits the establishment of a "District as may, by cession of particular states, the acceptance of Congress, become the seat of the government of the United States". However, the Constitution does not specify a location for the capital. In what is now known as the Compromise of 1790, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson came to an agreement that the federal government would pay each state's remaining Revolutionary War debts in exchange for establishing the new national capital in the southern United States. On July 9, 1790, Congress passed the Residence Act, which approved the creation of a national capital on the Potomac River; the exact location was to be selected by President George Washington, who signed the bill into law on July 16.
Formed from land donated by the states of Maryland and Virginia, the initial shape of the federal district was a square measuring 10 miles on each side, totaling 100 square miles. Two pre-existing settlements were included in the territory: the port of Georgetown, founded in 1751, the city of Alexandria, founded in 1749. During 1791–92, Andrew Ellicott and several assistants, including a free African American astronomer named Benjamin Banneker, surveyed the borders of the federal district and placed boundary stones at every mile point. Many of the stones are still standing. A new federal city was constructed on the north bank of the Potomac, to the east of Georgetown. On September 9, 1791, the three commissioners overseeing the capital's construction named the city in honor of President Washington; the federal district was named Columbia, a poetic name for the United States in use at that time. Congress held its first session in Washington on November 17, 1800. Congress passed the District of Columbia Organic Act of 1801 that organized the District and placed the entire territory under the exclusive control of the federal
Argentina the Argentine Republic, is a country located in the southern half of South America. Sharing the bulk of the Southern Cone with Chile to the west, the country is bordered by Bolivia and Paraguay to the north, Brazil to the northeast and the South Atlantic Ocean to the east, the Drake Passage to the south. With a mainland area of 2,780,400 km2, Argentina is the eighth-largest country in the world, the fourth largest in the Americas, the largest Spanish-speaking nation; the sovereign state is subdivided into twenty-three provinces and one autonomous city, Buenos Aires, the federal capital of the nation as decided by Congress. The provinces and the capital exist under a federal system. Argentina claims sovereignty over part of Antarctica, the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands; the earliest recorded human presence in modern-day Argentina dates back to the Paleolithic period. The Inca Empire expanded to the northwest of the country in Pre-Columbian times; the country has its roots in Spanish colonization of the region during the 16th century.
Argentina rose as the successor state of the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata, a Spanish overseas viceroyalty founded in 1776. The declaration and fight for independence was followed by an extended civil war that lasted until 1861, culminating in the country's reorganization as a federation of provinces with Buenos Aires as its capital city; the country thereafter enjoyed relative peace and stability, with several waves of European immigration radically reshaping its cultural and demographic outlook. The almost-unparalleled increase in prosperity led to Argentina becoming the seventh wealthiest nation in the world by the early 20th century. Following the Great Depression in the 1930s, Argentina descended into political instability and economic decline that pushed it back into underdevelopment, though it remained among the fifteen richest countries for several decades. Following the death of President Juan Perón in 1974, his widow, Isabel Martínez de Perón, ascended to the presidency, she was overthrown in 1976 by a U.
S.-backed coup which installed a right-wing military dictatorship. The military government persecuted and murdered numerous political critics and leftists in the Dirty War, a period of state terrorism that lasted until the election of Raúl Alfonsín as President in 1983. Several of the junta's leaders were convicted of their crimes and sentenced to imprisonment. Argentina is a prominent regional power in the Southern Cone and Latin America, retains its historic status as a middle power in international affairs. Argentina has the second largest economy in South America, the third-largest in Latin America, membership in the G-15 and G-20 major economies, it is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, World Trade Organization, Union of South American Nations, Community of Latin American and Caribbean States and the Organization of Ibero-American States. Despite its history of economic instability, it ranks second highest in the Human Development Index in Latin America; the description of the country by the word Argentina has been found on a Venetian map in 1536.
In English the name "Argentina" comes from the Spanish language, however the naming itself is not Spanish, but Italian. Argentina means in Italian " of silver, silver coloured" borrowed from the Old French adjective argentine " of silver" > "silver coloured" mentioned in the 12th century. The French word argentine is the feminine form of argentin and derives from argent "silver" with the suffix -in; the Italian naming "Argentina" for the country implies Terra Argentina "land of silver" or Costa Argentina "coast of silver". In Italian, the adjective or the proper noun is used in an autonomous way as a substantive and replaces it and it is said l'Argentina; the name Argentina was first given by the Venetian and Genoese navigators, such as Giovanni Caboto. In Spanish and Portuguese, the words for "silver" are plata and prata and " of silver" is said plateado and prateado. Argentina was first associated with the silver mountains legend, widespread among the first European explorers of the La Plata Basin.
The first written use of the name in Spanish can be traced to La Argentina, a 1602 poem by Martín del Barco Centenera describing the region. Although "Argentina" was in common usage by the 18th century, the country was formally named "Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata" by the Spanish Empire, "United Provinces of the Río de la Plata" after independence; the 1826 constitution included the first use of the name "Argentine Republic" in legal documents. The name "Argentine Confederation" was commonly used and was formalized in the Argentine Constitution of 1853. In 1860 a presidential decree settled the country's name as "Argentine Republic", that year's constitutional amendment ruled all the names since 1810 as valid. In the English language the country was traditionally called "the Argentine", mimicking the typical Spanish usage la Argentina and resulting from a mistaken shortening of the fuller name'Argentine Republic'.'The Argentine' fell out of fashion during the mid-to-late 20th century, now the country is referred to as "Argentina".
In the Spanish language "Argentina" is feminine, taking the feminine article "La" as the i
Honoré de Balzac
Honoré de Balzac was a French novelist and playwright. The novel sequence La Comédie humaine, which presents a panorama of post-Napoleonic French life, is viewed as his magnum opus. Owing to his keen observation of detail and unfiltered representation of society, Balzac is regarded as one of the founders of realism in European literature, he is renowned for his multi-faceted characters. Inanimate objects are imbued with character as well, his writing influenced many famous writers, including the novelists Émile Zola, Charles Dickens, Gustave Flaubert, Jack Kerouac, Henry James, filmmakers Akira Kurosawa, Eric Rohmer and François Truffaut as well as important philosophers such as Friedrich Engels and Karl Marx. Many of Balzac's works have been made into films, they continue to inspire other writers. An enthusiastic reader and independent thinker as a child, Balzac had trouble adapting to the teaching style of his grammar school, his willful nature caused trouble throughout his life and frustrated his ambitions to succeed in the world of business.
When he finished school, Balzac was apprenticed in a law office, but he turned his back on the study of law after wearying of its inhumanity and banal routine. Before and during his career as a writer, he attempted to be a publisher, businessman and politician. La Comédie Humaine reflects his real-life difficulties, includes scenes from his own experience. Balzac suffered from health problems throughout his life due to his intense writing schedule, his relationship with his family was strained by financial and personal drama, he lost more than one friend over critical reviews. In 1850, Balzac married a Polish aristocrat and his longtime love. Honoré de Balzac was born into a family which through its industry and efforts aspired to achieve respectability, his father, born Bernard-François Balssa, was one of eleven children from an artisan family in Tarn, a region in the south of France. In 1760 he set off for Paris with only a Louis coin in his pocket, intent on improving his social standing. After the Reign of Terror, François Balzac was despatched to Tours to coordinate supplies for the Army.
Balzac's mother, born Anne-Charlotte-Laure Sallambier, came from a family of haberdashers in Paris. Her family's wealth was a considerable factor in the match: she was eighteen at the time of the wedding, François Balzac fifty; as the author and literary critic Sir Victor Pritchett explained, "She was drily aware that she had been given to an old husband as a reward for his professional services to a friend of her family and that the capital was on her side. She was not in love with her husband". Honoré was the second child born to the Balzacs. Honoré's sisters Laure and Laurence were born in 1800 and 1802, his younger brother Henry-François in 1807; as an infant Balzac was sent to a wet-nurse. When the Balzac children returned home, they were kept at a frosty distance from their parents, which affected the author-to-be significantly, his 1835 novel Le Lys dans la Vallée features a cruel governess named Miss Caroline, modeled after his own caregiver. At age ten Balzac was sent to the Oratorian grammar school in Vendôme, where he studied for seven years.
His father, seeking to instill the same hardscrabble work ethic which had gained him the esteem of society, intentionally gave little spending money to the boy. This made him the object of ridicule among his much wealthier schoolmates. Balzac had difficulty adapting to the rote style of learning at the school; as a result, he was sent to the "alcove", a punishment cell reserved for disobedient students. Still, his time alone gave the boy ample freedom to read every book. Balzac worked these scenes from his boyhood—as he did many aspects of his life and the lives of those around him—into La Comédie Humaine, his time at Vendôme is reflected in Louis Lambert, his 1832 novel about a young boy studying at an Oratorian grammar school at Vendôme. The narrator says: "He devoured books of every kind, feeding indiscriminately on religious works and literature, philosophy and physics, he had told me that he found indescribable delight in reading dictionaries for lack of other books."Balzac fell ill causing the headmaster to contact his family with news of a "sort of a coma".
When he returned home, his grandmother said: "Voilà donc comme le collège nous renvoie les jolis que nous lui envoyons!" Balzac himself attributed his condition to "intellectual congestion", but his exten
Literary realism is part of the realist art movement beginning with mid-nineteenth-century French literature, Russian literature and extending to the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Literary realism attempts to represent familiar things as they are. Realist authors chose to depict everyday and banal activities and experiences, instead of using a romanticized or stylized presentation. Broadly defined as "the representation of reality", realism in the arts is the attempt to represent subject matter truthfully, without artificiality and avoiding artistic conventions, as well as implausible and supernatural elements. Realism has been prevalent in the arts at many periods, is in large part a matter of technique and training, the avoidance of stylization. In the visual arts, illusionistic realism is the accurate depiction of lifeforms and the details of light and colour. Realist works of art may emphasize the ugly or sordid, such as works of social realism, regionalism, or kitchen sink realism.
There have been various realism movements in the arts, such as the opera style of verismo, literary realism, theatrical realism and Italian neorealist cinema. The realism art movement in painting began in France in the 1850s, after the 1848 Revolution; the realist painters rejected Romanticism, which had come to dominate French literature and art, with roots in the late 18th century. Realism as a movement in literature was a post-1848 phenomenon, according to its first theorist Jules-Français Champfleury, it aims to reproduce "objective reality", focused on showing everyday, quotidian activities and life among the middle or lower class society, without romantic idealization or dramatization. It may be regarded as the general attempt to depict subjects as they are considered to exist in third person objective reality, without embellishment or interpretation and "in accordance with secular, empirical rules." As such, the approach inherently implies a belief that such reality is ontologically independent of man's conceptual schemes, linguistic practices and beliefs, thus can be known to the artist, who can in turn represent this'reality' faithfully.
As literary critic Ian Watt states in The Rise of the Novel, modern realism "begins from the position that truth can be discovered by the individual through the senses" and as such "it has its origins in Descartes and Locke, received its first full formulation by Thomas Reid in the middle of the eighteenth century."In the late 18th century Romanticism was a revolt against the aristocratic social and political norms of the previous Age of Reason and a reaction against the scientific rationalization of nature found in the dominant philosophy of the 18th century, as well as a reaction to the Industrial Revolution. It was embodied most in the visual arts and literature, but had a major impact on historiography and the natural sciences.19th-century realism was in its turn a reaction to Romanticism, for this reason it is commonly derogatorily referred as traditional or "bourgeois realism". However, not all writers of Victorian literature produced works of realism; the rigidities and other limitations of Victorian realism, prompted in their turn the revolt of modernism.
Starting around 1900, the driving motive of modernist literature was the criticism of the 19th-century bourgeois social order and world view, countered with an antirationalist and antibourgeois program. Social Realism is an international art movement that includes the work of painters, printmakers and filmmakers who draw attention to the everyday conditions of the working classes and the poor, who are critical of the social structures that maintain these conditions. While the movement's artistic styles vary from nation to nation, it always uses a form of descriptive or critical realism. Kitchen sink realism is a term coined to describe a British cultural movement that developed in the late 1950s and early 1960s in theatre, novels and television plays, which used a style of social realism, its protagonists could be described as angry young men, it depicted the domestic situations of working-class Britons living in cramped rented accommodation and spending their off-hours drinking in grimy pubs, to explore social issues and political controversies.
The films and novels employing this style are set in poorer industrial areas in the North of England, use the rough-hewn speaking accents and slang heard in those regions. The film It Always Rains on Sunday is a precursor of the genre, the John Osborne play Look Back in Anger is thought of as the first of the genre; the gritty love-triangle of Look Back in Anger, for example, takes place in a cramped, one-room flat in the English Midlands. The conventions of the genre have continued into the 2000s, finding expression in such television shows as Coronation Street and EastEnders. In art, "Kitchen Sink School" was a term used by critic David Sylvester to describe painters who depicted social realist–type scenes of domestic life. Socialist realism is the official Soviet art form, institutionalized by Joseph Stalin in 1934 and was adopted by allied Communist parties worldwide; this form of realism held that successful art depicts and glorifies the proletariat's struggle toward socialist progress.
The Statute of the Union of Soviet Writers in 1934 stated that socialist realism is the basic method of Soviet literature and literary criticism. It demands of the artist the truthful concrete representation of reality in its revolutionary development. Moreover, the truthfulness and historical concreteness of the artistic representa
Biblioteca Nacional de España
The Biblioteca Nacional de España is a major public library, the largest in Spain, one of the largest in the world. It is located on the Paseo de Recoletos; the library was founded by King Philip V in 1712 as the Palace Public Library. The Royal Letters Patent that he granted, the predecessor of the current legal deposit requirement, made it mandatory for printers to submit a copy of every book printed in Spain to the library. In 1836, the library's status as Crown property was revoked and ownership was transferred to the Ministry of Governance. At the same time, it was renamed the Biblioteca Nacional. During the 19th century, confiscations and donations enabled the Biblioteca Nacional to acquire the majority of the antique and valuable books that it holds. In 1892 the building was used to host the Historical American Exposition. On March 16, 1896, the Biblioteca Nacional opened to the public in the same building in which it is housed and included a vast Reading Room on the main floor designed to hold 320 readers.
In 1931 the Reading Room was reorganised, providing it with a major collection of reference works, the General Reading Room was created to cater for students and general readers. During the Spanish Civil War close to 500,000 volumes were collected by the Confiscation Committee and stored in the Biblioteca Nacional to safeguard works of art and books held until in religious establishments and private houses. During the 20th century numerous modifications were made to the building to adapt its rooms and repositories to its expanding collections, to the growing volume of material received following the modification to the Legal Deposit requirement in 1958, to the numerous works purchased by the library. Among this building work, some of the most noteworthy changes were the alterations made in 1955 to triple the capacity of the library's repositories, those started in 1986 and completed in 2000, which led to the creation of the new building in Alcalá de Henares and complete remodelling of the building on Paseo de Recoletos, Madrid.
In 1986, when Spain's main bibliographic institutions - the National Newspaper Library, the Spanish Bibliographic Institute and the Centre for Documentary and Bibliographic Treasures - were incorporated into the Biblioteca Nacional, the library was established as the State Repository of Spain's Cultural Memory, making all of Spain's bibliographic output on any media available to the Spanish Library System and national and international researchers and cultural and educational institutions. In 1990 it was made an Autonomous Entity attached to the Ministry of Culture; the Madrid premises are shared with the National Archaeological Museum. The Biblioteca Nacional is Spain's highest library institution and is head of the Spanish Library System; as the country's national library, it is the centre responsible for identifying, preserving and disseminating information about Spain's documentary heritage, it aspires to be an essential point of reference for research into Spanish culture. In accordance with its Articles of Association, passed by Royal Decree 1581/1991 of October 31, 1991, its principal functions are to: Compile and conserve bibliographic archives produced in any language of the Spanish state, or any other language, for the purposes of research and information.
Promote research through the study and reproduction of its bibliographic archive. Disseminate information on Spain's bibliographic output based on the entries received through the legal deposit requirement; the library's collection consists of more than 26,000,000 items, including 15,000,000 books and other printed materials, 4,500,000 graphic materials, 600,000 sound recordings, 510,000 music scores, more than 500,000 microforms, 500,000 maps, 143,000 newspapers and serials, 90,000 audiovisuals, 90,000 electronic documents, 30,000 manuscripts. The current director of the Biblioteca Nacional is Ana Santos Aramburo, appointed in 2013. Former directors include her predecessors Glòria Pérez-Salmerón and Milagros del Corral as well as historian Juan Pablo Fusi and author Rosa Regàs. Given its role as the legal deposit for the whole of Spain, since 1991 it has kept most of the overflowing collection at a secondary site in Alcalá de Henares, near Madrid; the Biblioteca Nacional provides access to its collections through the following library services: Guidance and general information on the institution and other libraries.
Bibliographic information about its collection and those held by other libraries or library systems. Access to its automated catalogue, which contains close to 3,000,000 bibliographic records encompassing all of its collections. Archive consultation in the library's reading rooms. Interlibrary loans. Archive reproduction. Biblioteca Digital Hispánica, digital library launched in 2008 by the Biblioteca Nacional de España List of libraries in Spain Media related to Biblioteca Nacional de España at Wikimedia Commons Official site Official web catalog