The first treatise on library science is 100 years old: Károly Kudora’s legacy.

SOMKUTI Gabriella

In the second half of the 19th century the housekeeping functions of public and private libraries in Hungary were highly influenced by foreign library science literature. Cataloguing practices followed British and German standards. Kudora’s work, the first synthesizing treatise on library science, was published in 1893. It was written first of all for inexperienced librarians. About one third of the book traces historical developments, while the rest deals with practical aspects of library operations, using many examples from foreign countries. An interesting feature of the book is that it regards librarianship as a scientific discipline. The volume was sharply criticized in the contemporary press; the learned librarians, among other things, attacked it on account of the lads of original ideas. Today, although outdated in many respects, Kudora’s work should be regarded as a treatise of fundamental importance. (pp. 541-544)

Ethnic bibliography and documentation in Hungary from the outset until today. Part 1.


The problem of ethnic minorities has been a central issue in the political and social life of Hungary for 200 years. Ethnicity-related literature was first documented in bibliographies of special disciplines as well as in regional and local bibliographies. The first bibliographies devoted entirely to ethnic issues were published, mainly by the Budapest Public Library, in the years before and during the first World War. After the Trianon Peace Treaty centers on ethnic studies were established and given the responsibility of preparing ethnic bibliographies and reviews. The first part of the article presents, selecting from the publications of these research centers, the bibliographies and reviews of the Hungarian Society of Foreign Affairs, the Institute of Political Science, the Hungarian Institute of Sociography, the Institute of Minority Studies at the Pécs University and the Instutute of Minority Rights at the Budapest University. As for the periodical literature the authors emphasize the extraordinary merits of Magyar Kisebbség (Hungarian Minorities, 1922-1942) published in Lugos, Romania, and Láthatár (Horizon, 1933-1944) edited by Zoltán Csuka. (pp. 545-560)

Information specialists for Hungary – a summarizing evaluation of the TEMPUS programme.


In June 1993 the Library and Information Science Department of the Faculty of Liberal Arts of the Budapest University (ELTE), the Hannover College (Fachhochschule Hannover, Fachbereich Bibliothekswesen, Information and Dokumentation) and the library science department of the Deventer College (Rijkshogesschool Ijselland) organized a meeting to mark the ending of their cooperation in the past three years in the framework of the TEMPUS programme. The participants reported on the forms of cooperation, the results of the practical and methodological activities aimed at modernizing library and information science education in Hungary. In the appendix of the report the subjects of the basic-level training in library and information science in Hungary are listed. (pp. 561-571)

Sex in the library.


In line with developments for a democratic society in Hungary, an increasing number of sex-centered and pornographic publications have appeared on the market. The author presents his view concerning the availability of these publications in the library. Librarians generally refuse to collect and catalogue such material, however, pornographic literature cannot be definitely regarded as “trash”, because it could help the development of proper sexual attitudes, increase readership and promote education in psychology and sociology. A thorough bibliography on the topic is also given. (pp. 572-576)

Unlimited sex in the library?


The author strongly disagrees with the views of Miklós Eszenyi concerning the literary value and the role of pornographic literature in the library, and presents a point-to-point refutation of Eszenyi’s statements. (pp. 577-580)

Role of censorship and secret publications in the 1980s in Hungary.


The study examines the increasing and decreasing role of censorship depending on the stability and legality of the governing authorities. A few historical examples of censorship in France, Austria and Hungary are given. The main part of the study deals with the banned, so filled “samizdat” publications appearing in Hungary in the 80s. The author also discusses censorship in the 60s and 70s, including methods of rating works according to such categories as “supported”, “tolerated” and “banned”. An attempt is made to identify forums established by dissidents beside the institutional, official channels of the “soft dictatorship” in order to present their views. An illustrative example of the efforts for openness and free accessibility to information is the opening to the public of the collection of the former “Banned Publications” department of the National Széchényi Library. (pp. 581-585)


Kategória: 1993. 4. szám | A közvetlen link.