Louis Szathmary Hungarica Collection

Hasonmas a gyulafehervari Batthyanyi-konyvtar Missale-janak cimkeperol (1377),
Hasonmas a gyulafehervari Batthyanyi-konyvtar Missale-janak cimkeperol (1377), reproduced in Sandor Szilagyi's A magyar nemzet tortenete, 1895, v. 3 (Az Anjou Haz es Orokosei, 1301-1439). [A History of the Hungarian Nation, v. 3: The House of Anjou and its Successors.]

In 1991, the University of Chicago Library received a gift of more than 15,000 volumes on the history and culture of the Hungarian people, donated by Louis Szathmary, a noted Chicago bibliophile and restaurateur. The majority of materials are in the Hungarian language, but the collection also contains nearly 1,500 volumes in German, Latin, French and English. Among the collection's greatest strengths are its unique works on the Hungarian nobility, the origin and early history of the Hungarian nation, the Turkish occupation (circa 1526-1675) and the history of Louis Kossuth and the Hungarian uprising of 1848- 1849. Other outstanding highlights of the collection include an extensive selection of books on the history of Hungary's capital--the twin cities of Buda and Pest--and a sizable number of books on the history of Transylvania. Further enriching the collection are the collected works of a wide variety of Hungarian authors, with particular emphasis placed on the prominent authors of the 16th and 17th centuries. Among this collection of belles lettres are many first and second editions, as well as many successive editions of an author’s complete works. For example, thirty separate works by Kalman Mikszath can be found in a variety of first editions published in Hungary and abroad, and the author Dezso Szabo is represented by 104 separate titles.

The Library has already cataloged a substantial number of both the western language and Hungarian materials in the collection, in part due to a 1994 U.S. Department of Education grant, through which more than 3,000 Hungarian titles, uniquely held by the Library, were cataloged, with their bibliographic records loaded into the OCLC and RLIN databases. These records are available through WorldCat and Eureka, as well as through the Library's Horizon Catalog. In the upcoming months, a list of these 3,000 unique titles will be made available at this site.

For more about the Szathmary Collection, visit the link below for an article by Laszlo Kovacs, Professor Emeritus, St. Olaf's College in the Newsletter  of the Association of College and Research Libraries. Slavic and East European Section, no. 11, 1995 in "Libraries in Profile" p.72ff.

Article by Laszlo Kovacs