The Library of the Eötvös Loránd University is the oldest among the higher education libraries in Hungary, actually, it is older than the university itself. It was founded in 1561, when Miklós Oláh, the archbishop of Esztergom, invited the Jesuits to Nagyszombat (present day Trnava in Slovakia) to establish a college. In accordance with the monastic rules of the time this college also had to include a library. When archbishop Péter Pázmány (a Jesuit celebrity himself) founded the university in 1635, it was natural that it should be based on the already prosperous Jesuit college. By the decree of Maria Theresa, the university with its library was moved to Buda Castle in 1777, then seven years later to Pest. A large, richly decorated building was erected in Ferenciek tere in 1876, this is the building that you can still see today. It was designed by Antal Szkalniczky in the eclectic style.
Our collection is the largest old books collection (material older than 1800) of Hungarian higher education libraries.
The library holds numerous antiquities and rare books, approximately 200 codices (including 14 Corvinas) and almost 1200 incunabula, among other rarities. The Library’s holdings may be considered significant even in a European scale.
Come and travel into the past!
Visitors will be guided around the library and through the past. The tour starts at the entrance hall and ends in the council chamber, meanwhile presenting the history of the library, the building and the collection. During the visit you can see the newly restored assembly hall with our 18th century book collection.
There will be two exhibitions in the library at the time of your visit. One of them will present the history of the library, while the other will offer you an insight into the most ancient part of our historical holdings. This unique section of our holdings consists of the books that were in the possession of the library of the Jesuit college before the university itself was founded.
Be our guest!