5th April 2023

Anniversary celebrations at the National Széchényi Library

Kölcsey and Petőfi Fond

2023 will be a jubilee year for the collection of the Hungarian National Library, as this year we will celebrate a double anniversary, important for the history of literature and culture: the 200th anniversary of the birth of Sándor Petőfi, one of the most famous Hungarian poets, and the birth of the Hungarian national anthem. In honour of these events, the NSZL has processed, digitised and published the manuscript resources of the Kölcsey and Petőfi Fond in the National Library on its digital content service platform. Data visualisations are also being created from the metadata produced and from the results of recent research (for example, the intellectual force field influencing Ferenc Kölcsey or the visualisation of poems evoking Sándor Petőfi), which may be of interest to the general public and researchers.

Kölcsey manuscript material held in the library has been uploaded to copia.oszk.hu, including a poem discovered by Ferenc Földesi, head of the Manuscript Archives. The new Kölcsey poem is most probably related to an earlier work, but the crossing out of lines requires the text to be unpacked. This will be done manually, using traditional methods and a special scanning machine.

The legacy of Sándor Petőfi, born 200 years ago, is kept in the manuscript archives of the National Library under the name Fond VII. The most significant parts of the legacy, the poet’s poems (424 items), letters (74 items), drawings (9 items), a biography of his six-month-old son Zoltán and the diaries of his wife Júlia Szendrey, have been published by the National Library of Sciences in the online database Copia (https.//copia.oszk.hu).

15th March – Open day at the national Széchényi Library

Furthermore, 15th March, on one of the most beautiful Hungarian national holidays, the NSZL held an all-day open day with special collection presentations, storage and building tours, and guided tours of our Vershaza (Poem Homeland) exhibition, which presents three poems iconic to all Hungarians. Our photography workshop featured children’s drawings made on site, as well as the digitisation of 1848 newspapers and book rarities, including the volume “Pages from the Diary of Sándor Petőfi”. On this day, the Cistercian Historical Library in Zirc, part of the National Library, also offered free programmes. 2550 people visited the library, a record number of visitors at the Hungarian National Library in one day.

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