300th Anniversary of Spanish Royal Academy

The first session at the Real Academia Española (RAE), or Spanish Royal Academy, was held in Madrid on 3 August 1713. The institution is celebrating its 300th anniversary in 2013 and 2014 with a program of special exhibitions and activities culminating in fall 2014 which offer a great opportunity to discover more about the Academy’s history, tradition, and evolution.

During its last 300 years of safeguarding, preserving and enriching the Spanish language, the Spanish Royal Academy has taken into account cultural and social changes and has adapted to modern times and new technologies. The RAE has pre- pared the program to celebrate its anniversary based on this idea. Events started at the end of September with the “Language and the Word. Three Hundred Years of the Spanish Royal Academy” exhibition, set up in the Spanish National Library, which will run until fall 2014, when a new edition of the Spanish Dictionary will be published and the “The Future of Dictionaries in the Digital Age” international symposium will take place.

Some of the activities for this year of celebrations include the “The Face of Letters” photo exhibition, which features images of writers and members of the academy; or the “Language Comics” project, which offers a series of dramatized readings of Spanish classics, performed by important actors and directed by José Luis Gómez. There will also be an open day at the Spanish Royal Academy, literary routes, a book club and a school writing competition. Furthermore, conferences, recitals and concerts will take place at the Lope de Vega House-Museum in Madrid.

Other special events for the 300th anniversary include the Borau-RAE Award to the best film script written in Spanish, a special course at the School of Hispanic Lexicography, and new editions and special publications of different works and documents. Lastly, in November 2014, the Guadalajara International Book Fair (Mexico) will pay tribute to the RAE in celebration of its anniversary.

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