Hungary's National Archives were established in 1756. Heavily damaged in World War II, the collection has been reorganized; among its treasures are some 100,000 items from the period prior to the Turkish occupation (1526). Hungary's National Széchényi Library is the largest and most significant in the country. Founded in Budapest in 1802, it has more than 2.5 million books and periodicals and more than 4.5 million manuscripts, maps, prints, and microfilms. Other important libraries are the Lóránd Eötvös University Library (1,500,000 volumes) and the Library of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (2.1 million volumes), both in Budapest; and the Central Library of the Lajos Kossuth University in Debrecen (1.27 million volumes). As of 1997, there were 3,518 regional public libraries located throughout the country.
There were over 500 museums (about 70 in Budapest) and many zoological and botanical gardens. One of the largest institutions is the Hungarian National Museum, which displays relics of prehistoric times as well as artifacts reflecting the history of Hungary from the Magyar conquest through 1849, including the Hungarian coronation regalia. A branch of the National Museum is the Hungarian Natural History Museum. Other museums, all in Budapest, include the Ethnographical Museum, the Museum of History, the Hungarian National Gallery, and the Museum of Fine Arts. Many castles and monasteries throughout the country have been converted to museums. There is also a Bela Bartok Museum, a Chinese Museum, a House of Terror museum(2002), and a Franz Lizst Memorial Museum and Research Center, all in Budapest.