The Library houses hundreds of incunabula and a great number of bequests of noteworthy Hungarians, as well as a rich collection of the most recent international scientific literature. It serves the public by providing access to its unique holdings for an ever widening circle of users.
As a national research library, the Library of the HAS collects literature principally in the field of classical studies, linguistics, literary history, oriental studies and history of science, including the publications of foreign academies of sciences. General works on philosophy, social science, Hungarian history are also collected, as well as works on basic research in natural sciences (selective in scope), arts and the most important works on the theory of science and interdisciplinary fields. The critical editions of the most significant foreign and Hungarian fiction, as well as prominent authors’ collected works are also acquired.
Our special collections offer a great number of remarkable documents. The Manuscripts and Rare Books Department, with its approximately 1 200 incunabula, is the second largest collection of its type in Hungary. It comprises codices, linguistic records, literary bequests of authors and scholars, manuscripts and 6 500 old Hungarian books. The Old Academic Archives preserves the official documents, correspondence and official records of the Academy from its 1825 foundation to its 1949 reorganization.
The Oriental Collection has become a unique special collection for students and researchers in oriental studies in Hungary. The majority of its holdings come from donations and bequests of Hungarian scholars, travellers and researchers. The manuscript collection of Sándor Kőrösi Csoma, the Hebraica collection of Dániel Kaufmann, the books and manuscripts of Ármin Vámbéry, the manuscript collection of Dániel Szilágyi, the Kégl Library and Sir Aurél Stein’s Library, the correspondence of Ignác Goldziher form the core material of this collection.