The collection of manuscripts has a varied theme and chronology as we find scrolls, Arab religious books, policy papers of the nineteenth century or literary texts (by Narcís Oller, Apel·les Mestres, Jacint Verdaguer, Josep Carner, Jovellanos and Emilia Pardo Bazán among others) and personal correspondence (Víctor Balaguer, E. C. Ricart, Eduard Toldrà, Joaquim Molas, Joan Magrinyà), which include letters from Frederic Mistral, Narcís Oller, Àngel Guimerà, Práxedes Mateo Sagasta and Joan Prim to Víctor Balaguer; by Joan Miró, J. F. Ràfols, Sebastià Gasch, Gustau Gili and Marià Manent to E. C. Ricart; by the Lamote de Griñon brothers, Joaquín Rodrigo and Pau Casals to Eduard Toldrà, and by Josep Maria Castellet, Pere Gimferrer, Baltasar Porcel, Joan Oliver, Salvador Espriu and Mercè Rodoreda to Joaquim Molas.
Víctor Balaguer’s Library is a library of general nature made with this determination when it was constituted. It has one of the finest collections of books from thenineteenth century in Catalonia; its heterogeneity stands out as the main virtue because it faithfully shows its publishing production from XIX. The collection’s origin mostly comes from Víctor Balaguer’s library, but especially, from the patient subsequent formation endeavoring to represent all themes. The Library grew throughout the twentieth century with a collection from that time, although not with the same volume which it did in the nineteenth century. The recent introduction years ago of about 30,000 volumes mostly from donations by Joan Enric Roig Santacana and, especially, by Joaquim Molas, makes the twentieth century collection comparable to the nineteenth century one.
The antiquarian collection consists of books from the XV century until 1800. The Library has about 3,000 books from this period, with a few truly remarkable. Lately is managed from the Library the antique book collection from the Can Papiol Romantic Museum’s library.
Most collection’s names from the periodical publications are from the exchange between the Balaguer Library Museum’s newsletter and other publications of the same period. Balaguer’s political links with the overseas world favored receiving press from around the world, especially from America. Later, this collection has continued growing. It currently has more than 3,000 titles on various themes.
The collection of the Library also has engravings and maps, joys, menus, photographs, cartoons, posters, bookplates, etc. The origin of the collection is diverse. Most of it comes from private donations (different collections from Joan Oliva, some joys, from Vives Sabaté; a part of menus, from Dr. Thebussem, etc.)
The importance of the institution promoted different personalities to deposit their legacies in Vilanova i la Geltrú: Josefa Massanès, Dr. Thebussem, E. C. Ricart, Eduard Toldrà, José Cruset, Joan Rius Vilas, Joan Magrinyà, Xavier Garcia, Joan Alemany, Joan Enric Roig Santacana, Joaquim Molas. In other cases, the close relationship to the house has favored the formation: Joan Oliva and the printing house Oliva from Vilanova i la Geltrú, Eduard Todà, etc. These are collections of various subjects related to the profession or the donors’ personal interests.
Throughout its history, the Library has been collecting various documents related to Vilanova i la Geltrú and the Penedès’ scope. Broadly speaking, this collection consists of themed books or local author, newspapers and magazines, booklets, photographs, manuscripts and diverse documents of local organizations.
The long history of the institution has created a collection consisting of correspondence, accounting and administrative documents, (memoirs, Guideline Board acts, etc.), maps, reports and various documentation of the Library Museum’s Studies Center sections.