National Széchényi Library

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National Széchényi Library

The National Széchényi Library (Hungarian: Országos Széchényi Könyvtár) (OSZK) is a library in Budapest, Hungary. It is one of the two Hungarian national libraries, the other being the University of Debrecen Library.


The library was founded in 1802 by the highly patriotic Hungarian aristocrat Count Ferenc Széchényi. Széchényi traveled the world buying Hungarian books, which he assembled and donated to the nation. In the following year the public library was opened in Pest. Széchényi's example resulted in a nationwide movement of book donations to the library.

In 1808, the Hungarian National Assembly ("Diet") created the Hungarian National Museum to collect the historical, archaeological and natural relics of Hungary. The Museum was merged into the Library and for the last 200 years this is how it has existed, a national depository for written, printed and objective relics of the Hungarian past.

In 1846, the Hungarian National Museum moved into its new building but it was not until 1949 that the Library became a separate entity again, with its current name. In 1985, the library moved to its new home at the Buda Castle Palace. The NSZL works on its catalogue's semantic availability.[1]


The National Library's Staff

Director General

Deputy Director General

Secretariat of the Director General

International and Cultural Secretariat

Internal auditing

Director of Special Collections and Academic Affairs

  • Collection of Historical Interviews
  • Manuscript Collection
  • Collection of Graphics and Small Prints
  • Collection of Early Books
  • Collection of Theatre History
  • Map Collection
  • Music Collection
  • Restoration and Preservation Department
  • Antal Reguly Historic Library (Zirc)
  • Department of Book History of the 16th-18th centuries
  • Department of Book History of the 19th-20th centuries
  • Department of Press History
  • HAS-NSZL Res libraria Hungariae Research Group
  • HAS-NSZL Research Group of the Hungarian Revolution in 1956

Director of Collection Development and Cataloguing

  • Legal Deposit Services, Hungarian ISBN Office
  • Acquisitions Department
  • Book Cataloguing Department
  • Periodicals Cataloguing Department
  • Department of Special Bibliographies in the Humanities
  • Hungarian Electronic Library

Director of Reference

  • Reference and Readers' Services
  • Document Provision Department
  • Collection of Microfilms and Photographs
  • Bindery
  • Stacks Management

Director of Informatics

  • Information and Computer Technology Department
  • MOKKA (The Hungarian National Shared Catalogue)

Director of the Library Institute

  • Secretariat
  • Research and Organization Development Department
  • Collection Development Information Department
  • Education Department
  • Library and Information Science (LIS) Library

Financial Manager

  • Financial and Accounting Department
  • Department of Payroll and Staff Administration
  • Technical and Maintenance Department


  • Hungarian publishing houses printed copies for every printed material:
    • publications and prints of any kind produced in Hungary
    • works published abroad in the Hungarian language or written by Hungarian authors.
    • non-book materials (sound recordings, video materials, electronic documents, etc.);
  • 8 million items comprising :
    • 2.5 million books
    • 385,000 volumes of serial publications (newspapers and periodicals)
    • 270,000 written and audio music documents
    • 1 million manuscripts
    • 200,000 maps, including the Tabula Hungariae, which was inscribed on UNESCO's Memory of the World Register in 2007[2]
    • 320,000 pictures and engravings
    • 3 million posters and small prints.
    • microfilm copies of more than 272,000 documents.
  • Collection of Early Books
    • the first book printed in Hungary, the Chronica Hungarorum ("Chronicle of the Hungarians"), which was printed and published in 1473
    • 8,600 copies of works published before 1711
    • 1,814 incunabula dating from the first century of book printing
    • the oldest existing text in Hungarian: the 12th century Funeral Sermon and Prayer is the first known continuous prose text in Hungarian (and in the Uralic language family as a whole).
    • the first known Hungarian poem (Old Hungarian Lament of Mary the Virgin)
    • the oldest surviving manuscript of the first Hungarian law-book (Decretum Sancti Stephani Regis, "Decree of Saint Stephen the King")
    • 35 Corvina codices from the library of King Matthias Corvinus.

Hungarian Electronic Library - Digitized Collection of the National Library

Hungarian Electronic Library


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ "Tabula Hungariae". UNESCO Memory of the World Programme. 2008-05-16. Retrieved 2009-12-15. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 47°29′42″N 19°2′21″E / 47.49500°N 19.03917°E / 47.49500; 19.03917