The National Library of the Czech Republic (5.8 million volumes in 2002) in Prague is the result of a 1958 amalgamation of six Prague libraries, including the venerable University Library, founded in 1348. It holds a valuable expensive collection of Mozart's papers and manuscripts. Other collections of significance are the university libraries at Brno and Olomouc. The State Research Library, including all six of its branches, holds more than six million volumes. In 1997, the Czech Republic had 6,245 public libraries with 53.7 million volumes and 1.4 million registered users.
Castles, mansions, churches, and other buildings of historical interest are public property. Many serve as museums and galleries. The largest museum in the country is the world-famous National Museum in Prague. The National Gallery, also in Prague, contains outstanding collections of medieval art and 17th-century and 18th-century Dutch paintings. There is also a remarkable Jewish Museum in Prague. Other outstanding museums and galleries are located in Brno and Plzen. The Prague Botanical Gardens are among the finest in Europe.