SCIENTIFIC COLLECTIONS OF THE REFORMED COLLEGE OF SÁROSPATAK
The Reformed College was founded in 1531. From that period printed paper, manuscripts and archive documents have been collected. They were guarded by officials chosen from senior students and kept in boxes and bookcases.
A new room was built for the library in 1641. When the Rakóczis’ collection was added in 1652, it achieved national and also European importance. After a time of destruction and exile during the Counter-Reformation with the help of several scholars the library expanded dramaticaly. At the beginning of the 20th century it became the „Big Library” with about 100, 000 volumes.
Nowadays more than a half million volumes are kept and made available for use. Among these volumes we can find rare works of famous printing houses, authors, teachers and students. Besides, 7 codices, 25 fragments, 32 incunabula and nearly 2000 works of foreign and Hungarian authors are the most precious books.
In the College and the schools of lower, intermediate and upper education the number of official documents grew quickly. The Prefect of the students was responsible for these documents. It was only at the beginning of the19th century when a separate archivist began to keep, organise and make the huge stock available. By the end of the century a 10-volume base directory and 250,000 catalogue cards were created. At present, not only the documents of congregations, church associations and institiutions, but also family and personal archives are kept on shelves over five hundred meters.
In the beginning, teaching tools and illustrations were on display in the classrooms, but later they were put in the school laboratories. These collections were already called ’’museums” at that time. The College’s own Museum was based on various collections since the 1700’s. In the second half of the 17th century there was a ’’physics” collection, during the 18th century there was a ’’numismatics” and ’’natural history” collection, and in the 19th century there was a ’’fine art” and ’’archeology’’ collection, as well. Visitors are welcomed to permanent and temporary exhibitions on the history of the school.
With a new interest in rural Hungary and the existing records from the libary many new dissertations were added. Further materials were contributed by American Hungarians. This collection, which is called the Database serves the reaseachers with 250, 000 documentation units.
Scientific Collections of the Reformed College consist of the Big Library with its Manuscripts and special collections, the Archives, the Museum and the Database. It offers researchers, students and scholars the opportunity to carry out manifold researches.
Visitors can take guided tours to look at the neoclassic library in its original state. In the Museum they can learn a lot about the history of the College and enjoy the temporary exhibitions as well.
Opening hours: from 9 a.m to 5 p.m on workdays; from 9 a.m to 1 p.m on Sundays. Special tickets can be purchased for taking photographs and videos. Free admission for employees of sister institutions and Hungarians from over the borders.
Upon prior agreement researchers can require a special room –- where they can work without time restrictions. From the age of 18 you may enrol in the library. Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult.. The deadline for enrolment applications is 4 p.m on Monday to Thursday and, 12 p.m on Fridays.
The following services are available in the library:
reading on the premises, interlibrary loans, giving information, photocopying, printing, digitalising, writing CD’s and DVD’s and scanning among others. Current regulations and tariffs apply.