Bans, pulping plants and librarians. Withdrawal of books in the Metropolitan Library of Budapest between 1945 and 1950

KATSÁNYI Sándor

 

 The article investigates the ideology-driven book withdrawal policy in Hungary from 1945 to 1950, presenting also the attitudes and motivations of librarians carrying out the actions.

In 1945, the city authorities ordered the Metropolitan Library to seize all books and journals suspected of reflecting fascist, anti-Soviet and anti-democratic ideology. Senior staff at the library reacted according to their own interpretation of the order. They were hoping that through the exemptions of the measure, they would be able to save much of the collection and even keep a few of the titles confiscated from branch libraries. The exemption was that two copies of the banned books could be kept for documentation purposes.

After the first wave of withdrawals, the collection of the central library was reduced by 10,307 volumes. Further disputed titles were withdrawn from the card catalogues only: in this way, the books were not available for the readers, but at least they did not have to be destroyed. Withdrawn books and journals were sent to pulping plants by the police.

However, in 1946, an eager librarian prepared a concrete book withdrawal list to be used by branch libraries. This list went beyond the direct political interests and enforced broader ideological considerations. In 1947, all banned books of “suspicious ideology” as well as all journals and newspapers published between 1920–1944 held in the central library were convicted to immediate destruction. Despite the chief librarian asking the mayor of Budapest to intervene against the destruction of valuable scientific journals, these periodicals were pulped.

The withdrawal campaign culminated in 1950 when it became a procedure controlled by the state. The ministry of culture prepared book withdrawal lists for various types of libraries. Eventually all books were banned that presented the values of civil society in an attractive way. Many classical authors, the literature representing the life of countrymen, as well as religious books were also discarded. As a result of the country-wide elimination of books, approximately 54, 000 volumes were withdrawn from the collections of the Metropolitan Library of Budapest, which meant that two thirds of its previous collection ended up in the pulping machines.

 

Surveying the marketing of library services in three Hungarian cities

VIDRA SZABÓ Ferenc – PÉTERFI Rita

 

 On autumn 2003, researchers of the Hungarian Library Institute conducted a survey on the marketing environment of libraries in three cities, Eger, Szolnok and Debrecen. The survey included questions on the appreciation of libraries, on the information needs of local citizens, about new library slogans that people would find useful for promotion purposes etc. The researchers intended to develop, on the basis of the outcomes, a survey method that can be adopted and used by other libraries too. 900 people were interviewed that were not members of any library at the time of the survey. The results revealed what kind of picture non-users have of libraries, and their opinions turned out to be useful for new strategies aiming to attract these people to the libraries again.

Most interviewees had a positive image of libraries. The most often mentioned features of libraries were

1. the cultured atmosphere of libraries,

2. the helpful attitude of librarians, and

3. the collections and services.

However, in many cases, the interviewees were not sure about what kind of services they can expect at libraries.

The image of libraries as reflected by the answers of local citizens can help library directors in the planning of their marketing strategy. Libraries should be more actively involved in the life of the local community, and in order to achieve this, they should strive to make the marketing of their services more efficient. The marketing strategies should target both the users and the local decision makers. One of the marketing tips can be to emphasise the availability of the new information and communication tools at public libraries, most often free of charge for users.

 

The library of the Budapest History Museum

KOVÁCS, Valéria

 
The first local history museums date of the end of the 19th century. In Hungary, it was Flóris RÓMER who first recommended the establishment of the Municipal Museum that would collect and display objects in connection with the history of the capital. The idea was supported by the decision makers of the capital, however, the first municipal museum was opened in a temporary building and this is where it continued to operate for several decades. The Budapest History Museum finally occupied its current premises in the museum complex of Buda Palaces in 1967, but some of its departments have remained located in other districts of Budapest. The organisation of the document collections at various departments started at that time, and in 1973, a central library was created incorporating the previous Archaeological Library, as well as the libraries of Medieval history and the Early Modern Period. The library of the Budapest History Museum provides only limited access to public, its mission being the provision of professional literature for researchers in the area of archaeological and museum-related research and activities.

 

The collocating function of the catalogue: correlations between the theories of Thomas Hyde (1674) and Domanovszky (1974), as well as the Frankfurt Principles (2003)

DUDÁS, Anikó

 

 The study summarises the epoch-making recognitions, theories and methods of the history of the collocating function of the catalogue over several centuries. In the 17th century, the processes that nurtured the collocating function of the catalogue could be revealed through the development of the Bodleian Library’s catalogues. Thomas Hyde’s theories regarding the form and choice of entry headings and organising headings continue to be in accordance with the current tendencies in information organisation that reinforce the role of the authorised headings and indirectly, the collocating function of the catalogue. Theories of the standardised headings cannot be separated from the theories of the object of the cataloguing process, the work itself. In the 1960s, Ákos Domanovszky, the recognised Hungarian theorist of the efforts towards an international cataloguing code, gave a precise definition of the functions and objects of the catalogue as well as a concept of “a work”. In his view, collecting the works of an author and collocating the editions of the works of an author should be regarded as two separate basic functions and not as one function in the general sense. Domanovszky’s concept of work continued to influence the theories that have emerged around the millennium. The post-modern approach to the concept of work takes into consideration the diverse manifestations of the same intellectual content, the various media-containers as well as the different social and cultural contextual spaces. In the Frankfurt Principles (2003), the principle of collocation is incorporated as an implicit presupposition rather than an explicit recommendation. The principle allows of various interpretations and applications, making sure that catalogues are capable to collocate multiple data set elements according to varying demands. The study also touches upon the contacts of Hungarian fellow scholars of the 17th century with the Bodleian Library and Thomas Hyde.

 

From Paris to Frankfurt and the way forward. Report on the IFLA Meeting of Experts on an International Cataloguing Code

BERKE Barnabásné

 
Representatives of the European national libraries participated at the IFLA Meeting of Experts on an International Cataloguing Code held at the Deutsche Bibliothek in Frankfurt in July 2003. The main objective of the meeting was to broaden the Paris Principles according to contemporary requirements and to agree on an international cataloguing code. The items on the agenda were:

1. Scope

2. Entities, Attributes and Relationships

3. Functions of the Catalogue

4. Bibliographic Description

5. Access Points

6. Authority Records

7. Foundations for Search Capabilities

The draft recommendations, completed with a glossary of definitions are available in various languages. The Hungarian translation is published below (see the following two articles).

 

Statement of International Cataloguing Principles – draft approved by the IFLA Meeting of Experts on an International Cataloguing Code, Frankfurt, 2003

Translated by BERKE Barnabásné

 

Final Glossary for IME ICC (based on comments received to 2 April 2004)

Translated by BERKE Barnabásné

About the new European / international standards for library statistics

KURUC Imréné

 

 

The ISO 2789:2003 standard related to “Information and Documentation – International Library Statistics” provides definitions and specifications for the collection and reporting of statistics regarding both traditional and electronic library services. In recent years, a new emphasis has been put on the quality measurement of library services as well as on the usage statistics of library resources. The ISO 11620:1998 “Information and Documentation: performance indicators for libraries” and its recent amendment aim to support these requirements. The new ISO 2789:2003 specifies data provision as requested in ISO 11620. The standards are now available in Hungarian language, together with ISO/TR 20983:2003 “Information and Documentation: performance indicators for electronic library services.”

 

The integrating role of libraries: solutions from Croydon

BATT, Aidi (Transl. By Murányi, L.)

 

 

This paper reviews the development of socially inclusive library services in the London Borough of Croydon. Croydon Council is committed to ensuring that all citizens are able to take advantage of the library service and for those with particular needs, special provision is made to help them to develop their skills. The range of these services will be reviewed in this paper and examples described the techniques and the impact of social inclusion work within Croydon libraries. The three case studies are delivering library services to pre-school children, black and minority ethnic housebound people and to adults with low literacy levels.

Card files know everything
KRAJEWSKI, Markus: Zettelwirtschaft. Die Geburt der Kartei aus dem Geiste der Bibliothek

Reviewed by SIPOS Magda

Serving the Hungarian book culture

Reviewed by BÉNYEI Miklós

 
FRIGYIK Katalin: Typis Számmerianis. The History of the Számmer printing house and the bibliography of the prints

STURGES Paul: Public Internet access in libraries and information services

Reviewed by Tibor Koltay

School media center in the process of education

Reviewed by ÉGER Veronika

 

 

Die Schulmediothek im Unterrichtsprozess (Red. Niels Hoebbel)