What is BDPI?

BDPI (Biblioteca Digital del Patrimonio Iberoamericano) is a project launched by the Asociación de Bibliotecas Nacionales de Iberoamérica (ABINIA). Its objective is the creation of a portal which provides access, from a single search point, to the digital resources of all the participating libraries.

With the active support from the Ibero-American General Secretariat (SEGIB) and its inclusion in the Action Programme of the XXIV Ibero-American Summit Of Heads of State and Government held in December 2014, BDPI became an essential tool for building and strengthening the Ibero-American Cultural Space, within the framework provided by the Digital Cultural Agenda for Ibero-America.

With this portal, ABINIA aims at disseminating the bibliographic heritage of each and every library involved in the project, enabling the largest possible number of citizens to approach their collections. At the same time, BDPI is meant to become an example of international cooperation amongst Latin American countries.

This portal should also encourage all library members of ABINIA to give a firm impulse to the digitization of their collections, as well as to automation and normalization of their catalogues - adapting them to international standards for description and interchange and thus allowing interoperability, required for the development of the project.

Design and creation of the portal has so far been undertaken by the National Library of Spain (BNE), who has carried out the current portal development, always keeping ABINIA informed of every step followed.

BDPI was launched at the XIII Meeting of ABINIA, held at the BNE from 17th to 21st September 2012. Our intention is to go ahead incorporating more libraries, with the aims of turning BDPI into a significant reference and reinforcing web presence of each of BDPI Partners.

The portal integrates the bibliographic descriptions for the digital objects from the collections of each participating library. For the time being, the metadata model Dublin Core has been adopted. Libraries provide a minimum set of bibliographic data elements and these are indexed and stored on a BNE server. Searches are performed on such data, but the digital objects are always viewed on the supplying library’s environment, since BDPI does not store digital objects but only bibliographic descriptions (metadata). Each library participating in the project is responsible for the content of their bibliographic records as well as for the management of digital objects.

BDPI's functionalities

BDPI offers different forms of access to the resources integrated.

The home page provides a first approach to collections, pieces of news or highlighted content through its dynamic "carousel".

The “Collections” section contains var¡ous selections of resources, grouped by themes, genres or types of materials, as a means for discovering all that unites and also singles out each of the national collections included in BDPI.


Searches in BDPI can be done through a simple search, querying directly into the fields for author, title, subject and description of bibliographic record, or through an advanced search, in more than one field at a time. It is also possible to select the library collections where the search should be done, as well as the types of document or languages. Search within the text of documents is also possible, provided that the material has previously been treated with optical character recognition.

Once the results have been obtained, we can change the number of records to be displayed, and sort the results by author, title, date or relevance (according to the ranking internally given by the search engine to each record).

From this results page, filters on the left side allow to refine search by institution, subject and document type.

By clicking on the title link of each record, we can see more details for the given work, in the “full display” view. But when clicking on the thumbnail or the link to the digital object, we navigate towards the external interface where each institution offers the given digital resource – each with their own navigation features or functionalities.

BDPI does not store digital objects but the bibliographic information and metadata referred to them. Details and conditions for access and use to the digital objects are eventually subject to the terms and conditions set by each participant for the resources in their own repository.