Argentina - Libraries and museums

The National Library was founded in 1810 and has occupied its present site in Buenos Aires since 1902; in 2002 it had about 1.9 million volumes. There are thousands of public and school libraries and innumerable private libraries. The libraries of the University of Buenos Aires have combined holdings of over 2.5 million volumes, while the library of the National Congress has two million volumes. The Catholic University of Argentina, with five campuses, has a combined collection of 90,000 volumes. The National Academy of Medicine has a library with 50,000 volumes in Buenos Aires and the Museum of Ethnography in Buenos Aires has a specialized collection of 100,000 volumes.

The National Museum of Fine Arts in Buenos Aires contains modern Argentine, American, and European works, as well as paintings attributed to old masters, paintings of the conquest of Mexico executed 300–400 years ago, and wooden carvings from the Argentine interior. Also in Buenos Aires are the National Historical Museum; the Isaac Fernández Blanco Museum of Hispanic-American Art, which contains an interesting and valuable collection of colonial art; the Mitre Museum and Library, containing the manuscripts, documents, printed works, and household objects of Gen. Bartolomé Mitre, which constitute a unique record of Argentine political development; the Natural Science Museum; and the Municipal Museum. There are several important historical museums in the provinces, including the Colonial and Historical Museum at Luján and the Natural History Museum of the University of La Plata, which is world-famous for its important collections of the skeletons of extinct pre-Pliocene reptiles (for which the Argentine pampas form one of the richest burial grounds).

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