Documentation Centre for Puppets inaugurated in Bilbao, Spain, in 1987. This institution actually originated in 1982 at the First International Puppet Festival. It has since become a central institution whose main objective is to provide puppetry a safe space for expression within the realm of culture and the performing arts. Without forgetting its role in conserving historical memory and traditions, it has also fostered study and extensive research at the crossroads of different backgrounds and professions. To this end, the CDTB opens its publications, seminars, round tables, exhibitions and other events on the art of puppetry to the general public, as well as professionals.
Through its editorial work (including guides and directories), the centre aims to facilitate contact between companies, public agencies and private cultural actors, artisans, writers, programmers and researchers. It houses a registry of 3,000 national and international companies, a 4,000 volume library, 148 periodical collections, a photo library of over 5,000 documents, a video library with more than 1,000 films, over 3,000 posters and extensive documentation. Computerization facilitates not only consultation and immediate data delivery but also fruitful and open exchange among institutions around the world.
The areas supported by the CDTB are very diverse. They include research on changes in the language of advertising (through its posters), support given to authors, companies, and artisans (through its continuously updated directories), programming support, contributions to historical and anthropological research, and educational work through its workshops and specialized courses for teachers. In addition to contributing to the therapeutic treatment of disabilities through puppets, it provides many opportunities for the productive use to leisure time.