Our library has a special collection of approximately 30 000 old books consisting of foreign documents published before 1800 and Hungarian documents or items related to Hungary published before 1850. The main body of these rare and protected books constitutes of the Hungarica literature derived from our function as a national library. The library has some very valuable antique books published between 1500 and 1600. Other valuable materials (like rarities or minibooks) can also be found here.
The library got hold of most of the old books after 1945. A significant proportion of the collection of that time consist of Hungarian ecclesiastical printed materials, some of them have local references.
The Brünn edition of János Thuróczy's Chronica Hungarorum published in 1488 can be found among the old books. This is the earliest incunabulum of our collection related to Hungary, it is illustrated with woodcuts and with the portraits of 41 Hungarian kings.
These books support the scientific research and education in the University. The researchers of the library have been dealing with the history of old books and with the possessorial and marginal notes since the 1960s.
old books are indicated with call numbers beginning with 700 000, ornate books and minibooks with a D, rare and protected books are distinguished with RV from other documents. This collection can only be used in the Research Room with a special call slip. No photocopying is possible.