Public libraries and museums are fairly new in Iran. The National Library at Tehran has a good general collection of about 590,000 volumes as of 2002. The Library of Parliament, with 170,000 volumes, has an extensive collection of manuscripts and an unrivaled collection of documentary material in Farsi, including files of all important newspapers since the inception of the press in Iran. The Central Library of the University of Tehran holds some 650,000 volumes.
Tehran has the Archaeological Museum, overflowing with fabulous treasures from the long cultural and artistic history of Iran, and the Ethnological Museum. Iran's crown treasures— manuscripts, jeweled thrones, and a vast variety of other objects—may be seen at the Golestan Palace. Museums at Esfahan, Mashhad, Qom, and Shiraz feature antique carpets, painted pottery, illuminated manuscripts, and fine craftsmanship in wood and metal; most of these objects date from the 12th to the 18th centuries.