The National Library in Lima, with 736,000 volumes, is the largest in Peru. More than 450,000 volumes may be found in the various libraries of the University of San Marcos. The library at the National University of San Augustín at Arequipa contains over 430,000 volumes. The library at the Pontifical Library has over 350,000 items. There are nearly 200 public libraries in Peru, the largest of them in Callao, Arequipa, and Lima.
Peru has endeavored to restore and maintain the aesthetic and historical evidences of its pre-Columbian and colonial civilizations in more than 250 public and private museums.
The City Hall in Lima contains a full record of the city's official acts since its founding. The Cathedral of Lima, with its silver-covered altars and carved stalls, contains priceless historical and religious relics. A chapel near the entrance contains the alleged remains of Francisco Pizarro. Two colonial residences, the Palacio Torre Tagle and the Quinta de Presa, have been maintained to exhibit antiques and to serve as examples of the architecture of traditional Lima. There is no law protecting old houses, however, and many have been removed to make way for new downtown buildings. Some have been privately restored, such as the headquarters of the Association of Amateur Artists, the Institute Riva Aguero, the Associated Electrical Companies, the Bullfight Museum, and the Oquendo Mansion. In the Quinta de Presa is a museum with the possessions of the actress La Perricholi, the famous favorite of the 18th-century Viceroy Amat. At Pueblo Libre in Lima are the National Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, with exhibits of pre-Columbian civilizations, and the Museum of the Republic, a historical museum. The Rafael Larco Herrera Museum in Lima (housing the former collection of the Chiclín plantation near Trujillo) is a private museum with a vast collection of notable antiquities from the pre-Inca Chimú culture. The University of Trujillo has a museum with specimens of early Peruvian cultures. Lima's Museum of Art exhibits Peru's national art from the pre-Columbian era to the contemporary period. There are regional museums throughout the country, including the Frederico Galvez Durand Archeological Museum in Huancayo featuring artifacts from the Nazca peoples.