Regional Office for Culture in Latin America and the Caribbean

Portal of Culture of Latin America and the Caribbean

Ecuador - Aurelio Espinosa Pólit Ecuadorian Library

It is one of the most important libraries in Latin America, established by the Society of Jesus. It is the most complete higher learning research centre on the Ecuadorian culture and history, consisting of museum, library and archive. It has the following collections 1º. Official Publications; History and Geography of the Homeland; Monographs and Biographies; 2º. Ecclesiastic Documents, Reviews on Catholic Works, Documents referring to Religious Orders, Sacred Oratory,  Pious Books; 3º. Scientific Publications, Pedagogic Works, Text Books; 4º. Literary Production in all its genres; 5º. Collections of Prints, albums, interesting autographs; 6º. Magazines. 


It contains about 300.000 books by Ecuadorian authors in its General Collection, the Ecuadorian Ancient Collection, the Foreign Ancient Collection and Specialized Collections belonging to important personalities of Ecuador. There are around 10.000 historic photographs and a Historic Archive with approx half a million documents among manuscripts and photographs of all the periods of our history.  


Our objective, with the digitalization of this bibliographic heritage, is to build our identity and to contribute to the democratization of knowledge, and to the education of the Ecuadorian population with the dissemination of information from the specialized funds, periodical publications and other collections in the library.  Due to the above, it has an enormous potential for research on the issue of people of African ancestry in Ecuador.

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Jesuit works which are part of the cultural sector are: The Aurelio Espinosa Pólit Ecuadorian Library, institution lodging the memory of Ecuadorians and the Foundation Church of the Society of Jesus, which preserves and disseminates the cultural legacy of the baroque temple of Quito and the Jesuit complex of Quito’s historic centre.  Furthermore, there is a network connection with the Cultural Centre of the PUCE (Catholic University of Ecuador), including several museums; the House-Museum María Augusta Urrutia, lodged in a typical family mansion in Quito from the late 19th century.

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Other data of interest




Founding Date

It was founded in 1985 by the Andean Parliament and is partially financed by the Andean Community. It is a university specialized in post-graduate courses with headquarters in Sucre, Bolivia (since 1985), national headquarters in Quito, Ecuador (since 199




Cotocollao, José Nogales N69-22 y Francisco Arcos.

Telephone Numbers

022 491-156 / 022 491-157

Fax number

022 491-156

Links to social networks

Acceso a la biblioteca



Other members of the Executive

Jesuit Community

Objectives of the institution

To contribute to the strengthening of the memory of Ecuador through preservation, dissemination and access to historic information.

Heritage documents under its protection

Documentary collection of which 323.135 pages have been digitalized up to date. An ancient bibliographic collection and museum objects (archaeology and artistic). In the newspapers and periodicals collection there are 9.291 books, of which, 4.433.836 pages of periodicals have been digitalized up to date.

The state of conservation of these documents is very good, they are in the process of being digitalized. This documentation is used by researchers.

Periodicals published by the institution

It publishes printed catalogues.