The Botanical Institute of Barcelona (IBB) is a joint venture between the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) and the Barcelona City Council (AB). The Institute was established in 1934; in 1942 Pius Font i Quer was appointed as tenured scientist for the Institute. In 1986, IBB was incorporated as an associated centre; one year later, the first tenured scientist of IBB’s modern era joined the institution. In 1998, a new agreement was signed with the City Council creating the Institute as a joint centre.
The second largest botanical centre in Spain, IBB stands out due to both its scientific significance and the volume of its collections. Current botanical collections include approximately 800,000 herbarium specimens. These collections, as well as the specialised library, are part of the CSIC Library Network, which can be accessed via the Internet and is fully accessible to all interested researchers.
The IBB also holds the Salvador Cabinet, one of the few naturalist collections of the Enlightenment period still preserved. This collection includes a variety of specimens: fossils, shells, seeds, various animal and plant products and the herbarium. Holdings also include a scientific, medical and pharmaceutical library from the 16th and 18th centuries—one of the most important libraries of its kind in the world.
Currently, the IBB has four main research groups: Biodiversity and Plants Evolution, Vegetal diversity, genome evolution and ethnobotany, Native and alien flora: diversity, collections, and conservation and Entomology and insect-plant interactions.
The IBB is located in Montjuic Park, one of the most emblematic areas of Barcelona, both culturally and historically. The “historical building,” which was the first headquarters of the Institute, is located near the Palau Nacional, home to the National Art Museum of Catalonia. Currently, the IBB is located in a newer building (2003), located atop the Botanical Garden of Barcelona (JBB)—an institution with which it has a close relationship.