A Literary Collection in Hungary

The National Széchényi Library in Budapest holds the largest collection of manuscripts and personal papers in Hungary and one of the most significant in Europe.

Among the highlights are a Theatre History Collection and a Music Collection. There is also a remarkable collection of individual letters, not part of any one fonds, numbering over 30,000 items. As the Library website states, the collections represent “first-rate sources for research in 19th-20th century Hungarian history, literature and cultural history.”

The Theatre History Collection is the national reference library for theatre studies and the largest collection of Hungarian theatre literature in Hungary. It collects all library documents related to theatre in Hungary and theatre history documents of Hungarian relevance from abroad. It contains, in particular, the basic sources of Hungarian theatre history, works of art and paper documents that record, perpetuate and recall the ephemeral theatre performances.

The scope and structure of the Theatre History Collection are as follows:

  • the manuscript, reproduced or printed plays, scripts and copies preserving traces of theatrical use made in Hungary or abroad;
  • playbills, posters, programmes and other printed material for prose, musical and dance theatre, as well as related genres (cabaret, orpheum, circus, stuntmen, spectacles, etc.);
  • visual documents related to the theatre: original and reproduced graphic sheets, set and costume designs, theatre photographs forming a Graphics and Set Design Collection and a Photograph Collection;
  • handwritten documents and bequests, limited edition copies or typewritten documents, which are important source documents for theatre history research.

In addition to these, the collection also contains a specialised library of theatre history with around 8,000 volumes and theatre journals from the NSZL General Collection.

The Theatre History Collection of the National Széchényi Library is documented in a representative album published by the Osiris Publishing House: Színháztörténeti képeskönyv (Libri de Libris). Budapest, 2005. 389 pages.

[This post is one of a series. For similar notes about other countries, use the Search box above to look for Austria, Brazil, Cameroon, Chile, China, Colombia, Cuba, Hong Kong, Namibia, Nigeria, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland, Uruguay and Vietnam]

This entry was posted in International perspectives. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a comment

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s