Public Library of Valencia

The Public Library of Valencia is the main library of the city of Valencia. As an institution, it was founded in 1838.[1] However, it was not until 1979 when it was relocated to its present location, the main building of the former Hospital for the Poor Innocents.

Public Library of Valencia
Valencia.Hospital de los Pobres Inocentes.jpg
Established1979 Edit this on Wikidata
Other information
DirectorEverilda Ferriols Segrelles



The origin of the institution comes from 1938, and has its beginnings in the Popular Library of Valencia, originally placed in Casa Vestuario, in Plaza de la Virgen. The library was relocated in 1979 in the intersection of the Old Hospital of Valencia, also known as Hospital de los Pobres Innocentes (Hospital for the Poor Innocents).

The building as a hospitalEdit

The building that currently houses the library was founded in 1409 by members of the Valencian bourgeoisie of the time, encouraged by a sermon of Fray Juan Gilabert Jofre in which he defended the need to create an institution to care of the mentally ill.[2] That is how the Hospital de Folls de Santa María dels Pobres Innocents was founded. It was the first psychiatric hospital founded in Europe and in 1493 it was granted permission to expand the hospital. The construction works built a new nursing with the form of a Greek cross as one of the many attachments to the hospital, and in which now is located the library. It had two floors, the lower one designed to treat men, and the upper one, for women.

Until the early 16th century, in Valencia coexisted several minor hospitals, usually associated with religious organizations that were dedicated to cure specific diseases. In 1511, an edict of Ferdinand II of Aragon decreed the unification of all these hospitals into one.[3] Some other attachments were added and the whole complex was renamed as General Hospital of Valencia. A fire in 1547 forced reconstruction of the building, and in 1664 a second transept was built. The Gothic portal which is currently in the entrance of the library is the only original piece that remains from before the fire.

The building as a libraryEdit

The health complex continued to serve as a hospital until 1960 when it opened the Clinical Hospital of Valencia. After the abandonment of the center began the demolition of the same. During that process, the church, the old pharmacy and the medical school were demolished. Nevertheless, the citizen opposition managed to stop the demolition just before the building of nursing was brought down. Nowadays, in that building is located the library.

On November 28, 1963 through Decree 3438, the buildings that had not been demolished were declared as a conjunto histórico (Historic-artistic ensemble), surviving to the construction works the old infirmary, the hermitage of Santa Lucia and the chapel known as "El Capitulet". In 1979, the Ministry of Culture installed the Public Library of Valencia in the former hospital building, and the Coordinating Center Library (now IVAJ) at the pharmacy.[4]

Currently, due to the form of Greek cross of the building, the library divides its services by wings: the entrance is in the public limelight and shelves of magazines and reference books; in the left wing, the loan service; on the right, the material for children and youth, and in the background, the service archive. Upstairs, there are the wings of humanities, science, the offices and the local fund.


As a centre, the Public Library of Valencia offers the following services:[5]

  • Bibliographic information.
  • Home loan of books and other media.
  • Cultural activities.
  • Check and reading rooms.
  • Online services (ILL, desiderata, reservations and renewals ...).
  • Wifi and Internet.


Directors of the library
Director Years
Pilar Faus 1979–1993
Carolina Sevilla 1993–2007
Rafael Coloma 2008–2010
María Jesús Carrillo 2010 - 2014
Everilda Ferriols Segrelles 2014–2016
Ana Moure 2016–Present

Gallery of imagesEdit


  1. ^ Conselleria de Cultura, Educació i Ciència. Generalitat Valenciana. (1989). Biblioteca Pública Valenciana, 1979–1989. 10 años de actividad. Valencia: Conselleria de Cultura, Educació i Ciència.
  2. ^ REIG FERRER, Ana Maria, CHILET LLÀCER, Benedicta and CERDÀ BALLESTER, Josep. (2012). Una experiencia compartida. L'Hospital General de València: història gràfica d'un recinte hospitalari. At: Símile, revista del Col·legi Oficial de Bibliotecaris i Documentalistes de la Comunitat Valenciana (COBDCV), novembre – desembre 2012, nº 18 [1]
  3. ^ VILAR DEVÍS, Mercedes. (1996). El hospital general en la Valencia foral moderna (1600–1700). Valencia: 9 d'Octubre.
  4. ^ REIG FERRER, Ana Maria, CHILET LLÀCER, Benedicta and CERDÀ BALLESTER, Josep. (2011), "L'Hospital de València segons un plànol del segle XIX", at Archivo de Arte Valenciano, nº 92, pp. 215-222. Pdf access: "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-09-10. Retrieved 2014-09-09.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ Web page of the Valencia's Public Library. Website: <"Biblioteca Pública de Valencia". Archived from the original on 2013-03-06. Retrieved 2013-02-14.>.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 39°28′13″N 0°22′54″W / 39.47028°N 0.38167°W / 39.47028; -0.38167