History of the libraries of the Budapest History Museum

The establishment of the library cannot be specified at one exact point in time. As the museum’s departments started to take shape at the end of the 19th century, separate collections consisting of books about certain disciplines developed as well. For a long time, there was no dedicated library room; rather, the books and periodicals were stored in the offices. When the departments were separated to move into different buildings, the accumulated collection of books was finally transferred to actual purpose-built reading rooms.

In 1967, the Medieval Department and with it, its library, has moved from Szentháromság tér to the southern wing of the Castle. Over the years, it has become the central location of the museum. In February 1973, it was decided that the separate book collections shall be united in one central library as an individual department. The unification resulted in an integrated inventory and cataloguing system as well as an elimination of duplicates and the professional maintenance of different departments.         


The collections

The library’s primary function is to support the everyday work of museum employees and to help the research conducted by them; however, it does provide services to outside researchers as well as university students. The collections consist of publications from the fields of archaeology, general, urban and cultural history, art history and contemporary art theory both in Hungarian and in foreign languages. Since the departments of the museum are located in various places around the city, the library has three separate locations as well. Its main focus being the period from prehistoric times to the Hungarian Conquest (895-896), the Bálint Kuzsinszky Archaeological Library can be found in the Aquincum Museum. The Medieval Library is located in building “E” of Buda Castle; it collects publications about medieval history from the Hungarian Conquest to the liberation of Buda from Turkish occupation in 1686. Finally, the Library of Modern History and Art History, whose collections are comprised of publications about history after 1686, is in the Kiscell Museum.


  • local computer use (internet access)
  • photocopying (black and white, max. 10-12 pages)
  • interlibrary loans

Please note that none of our libraries are lending libraries, the documents can be used only on the premises of the library in question.

List of available online databases: 

  • Hungaricana Hungarian Cultural Heritage Portal (publicly available from any computer)
  • Arcanum Digitheca (ADT; available through subscription, free to use on the computers of the museum's library)
  • JSTOR(available through subscription, free to use on the computers of the museum's library)
  • AKJournals (only the periodicals that the museum has been subscribed to from 1998; previous volumes can be donwloaded from the ADT database)


Please note that our online catalogue does not currently contain every record in our libraries. The entire collection can be browsed in our card catalogue, which includes:

  • a catalogue of authors A-Z
  • a catalogue of specialized fields
  • a catalogue of periodicals
  • a catalogue of series
  • a geographical catalogue 
  • a catalogue of exhibition catalogues by the museum
  • a catalogue of the archival collections


Medieval Library

Castle Museum
1014 Budapest, Szent György tér 2. (Buda Castle Building E)
Phone: +36 1 487 88822

Opening hours:

Monday 9:0015:30
Tuesday 9:0015:30
Wednesday 9:0015:30
Thursday 9:0015:30
Friday 9:0014:30

Bálint Kuzsinszky Archaeological Library

Aquincum Museum 
1031 Budapest, Záhony utca 4.
Phone: +36 1 250 1650/223

Opening hours: 

Monday 9:0015:30
Tuesday 9:0015:30
Wednesday 9:00–15:30
Thursday CLOSED
Friday 9:0014:30

Please note that the library at the Aquincum Museum operates with one librarian, therefore, it may be closed due to sick or holiday leave. Please always inquire by phone before your visit.

Modern and Art Library

Kiscell Museum
1033 Budapest, Kiscelli utca 108.
Phone: +36 1 388 8560, + 36 1 250 0304

Opening hours:

Monday 9:0015:00
Thursday 9:00–15:00

Please note that the library at the Kiscell Museum operates with one librarian, therefore, it may be closed due to sick or holiday leave. Please always inquire by phone before your visit. 

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