Bibliothèque royale de Belgique was Founded by the young Belgian state in 1837, the Royal Library was opened to the public in 1839. Its history really started, however, with a collection of 900 manuscripts assembled in the 15 th century by the dukes of Burgundy, who constantly That period ruled the Low Countries. The Royal Library of Belgium comp rises several at historical libraries-including Those of the Burgundian dukes (enlarged in the 16 th century by the Spanish King Philip II), the religious orders Abolished in the late 18 th century, private collectors like Charles Van Hulthem (1764 -1832), and the collection of the city of Brussels. Bibliotheque Royale de Belgique is one of the most important cultural institutions in Belgium. There are four million bound volumes in the Royal Library, including a rare book collection numbering 45,000 works. The library has more than 700,000 engravings and drawings, 150,000 maps and plans, and more than 250,000 objects, from coins to scales to monetary weights. This coin collection holds one of the most valuable coins in the field of numismatics, a fifth-century Sicilian tetradrachm. The library likewise houses the Center for American Studies, another foundation of higher learning built up by the University of Antwerp, the Free University of Brussels, the University of Ghent, and the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, which is globally authorize for conveying Master of Arts degrees in American Studies.