The St. Cyril and St. Methodius National Library, established in 1878 in Sofia, is the largest in Bulgaria (2.52 million volumes); since 1964, the Elin Pelin Bulgarian Bibliographic Institute has been attached to it. Other important libraries are the Central Library of the Scientific Information Center (with 740,000 volumes), the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences library (1.74 million volumes), the Sofia University Library (1,500,000 volumes), and the Ivan Vazov National Library in Plovdiv (with 1,300,000 volumes). As of 1997, the public library system had over 4,200 branches throughout the country.
Bulgaria has some 200 museums, of which the most important include the National Archaeological Museum (attached to the Academy of Sciences) and the National Art Gallery (with a collection of national and foreign art), both in Sofia. Other museums are devoted to history, science, and the revolutionary movement, and include the Bojana Church Museum in Sofia, the Museum of Wood Carvings and Mural Painting in Trjauna, with an important collection of artifacts from the Bulgarian National Revival Period in the 18th and 19th centuries, and the Open-Air Museum of Ethnography in Gabrovo.