Information service

You can contact us in any questions and researches related to Budapest.


Reading room, information: +36-1-411-5026;
Photographic archive: +36-1-411-5027; Zita Nagy,; Szilvia Pálinkás, 
Posters and small prints archive: +36-1-411-5000/5191; Péter Csörgő,
Online services: +36-1-411-5000/5101, Adrienne David,
Antiques, rarities: +36-1-411-5000 / 5102, Gábor Nagy, 
Acquisition: +36-1-411-5000/5101, Zoltán Krett,
Head of the department: +36-1-411-5014, Borbála Kiss, 

  • Services locally
    reading room of Budapest Collection
    Photo:: Gábor Pálinkó

    Our reading room can be found on the 6th floor of the Central Library. The opening hours of the reading room are the same as the ones of the Central Library.
    All items of the collection are regarded as museum pieces, so, modern publications are also to be preserved for good; our volumes cannot be borrowed and they can be read on site, only in that room.
    Our reading room can be visited by anyone who has reader's card.
    There is no need for special permission and appointment in general; however, you can also find 15-17. century antiques in our collection and an appointment is needed to use those documents.

    Some restrictions concerning the preservation of the collection are written in Appendix of Terms of Use concerning library documents as museum pieces.
    Copying can be done by approval of the librarians on duty; please ask them for their consent.
    Our reading room is the best place for readers in the library to enjoy its traditional library atmosphere that helps with intense learning, reading, searching...

    What we can offer:

    50 reading seats,
    reference library containing 4500 volumes,
    computer catalog, literature databases and picture databases,
    card catalogues of posters with photos, in the fields of geography, biographies and portraits,
    microfilm reader and printer, photocopier,
    exhibition hall

  • Our remotely available services
    Our very important online services (The whole list can be read here.)

    Our self-built databases in the system of the library

    Budapest bibliography

    Selected bibliography of Budapest related books and articles published since 1950. It contains primarily the literature of Hungarian town history and local knowledge, supplemented with the data of foreign publications that can be found in the collection and foreign publications received from other bibliographies. It is available in the library catalogue or independently.

    Budapest Picture Archive

    It is the picture database of graphical depictions and photos related to Budapest reflecting mainly the conditions before 1945, presented in publications or original ones. The content of the picture collection is enlarged; now it contains about 16 000 pictures.

    The whole database including also the depictions of pictures, not digitized yet, is available on
    Digitized depictions can be searched together with the pictures of other institutions in Picture repository of Hungaricana.

    Our colleagues are glad to receive corrections and suggestions via the comment windows that can be found at all picture description.

    Digitized publications

    On the platform of Book and document repository of Hungaricana

    The Metropolitan Ervin Szabó Library has a separate page in this electronic collection (of public collection). It contains mainly the content of Budapest Collection, covering repositories of addresses, bibliographical and iconographical data collections, local newspapers and magazines and other series; the lists can be read here.

    Budapest Time Machine

    Search interface of Budapest related digital documents, concerning data of streets and houses, navigating in space and time via interactive maps. Budapest Collection joined the initiatives of Budapest City Archives by the data of its repositories of addresses. Owners of estates, names of companies, public institutions, restaurants etc. are linked to defined map places, digitized layouts, photos and various documents of archives. Now the system is quite elaborate for 1916 but it can be searched in other time horizons.

    On the surface of Hungarian National Digital Archive

    Ballagi Collection

    The special collection contains political pamphlets related to Hungary and the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, published between the middle of the 18th century and the end of the 19th century. The literature on party struggles, public law and economic issues is particularly rich; nearly half of the entire collection of this sort of literature can be read here (2094 works). The same publications can be downloaded by the library catalogue.

    Press cuts

    Former colleagues working in Budapest Collection cut out and sticked (on) newspaper articles related to town history and local knowledge and labelled them with data (added by the colleagues between 1906 and 1980 approximately). The nearly 40 000 shorter - longer works were digitized; now the steadily enlarging database contains about 5000 articles that can be read by the users.

    Topotheque of Józsefváros
    The digtal database of the 8th district containing our own content and personal documents of private persons that can be related to this part of the city. The material of the database is collected and processed by volunteer participants as well.

  • Rental of collection documents for exhibitions

    Some documents of the collection  (Budapest Collection) can be borrowed by public collections. The term of loan is that exhibitioner institution undertakes to fulfill required terms of the contract concerning transport, preservation and protection of the objects; they are recorded in loan for use contract  (commodatum contract).

    Photocopies can be received by others as well; besides fee of photocopying  the library can claim for fee of public use depending on the type of use.


Budapest Collection

1088 Budapest, Szabó Ervin tér 1.
Go to
Opening hours
    Today 10:00-16:00
    Tomorrow: Closed-Closed

Phone number:
(1) 411-5026
Manager: Kiss Borbála
Head of department

Registration for natural and legal persons:
free of charge / 12 months
Administration fee of registration reader card:
HUF 400 / 12 months

Daily card: HUF 1650 / day

Borrowing privileges in one library:
HUF 7800 / 12 months
HUF 5400 / 6 months
HUF 4000 / 3 months

Establishment of membership for using all branches simultaneously:
HUF 10000 / 12 months
HUF 7700 / 6 months