51. évfolyam, 2005. 3. szám


The legal regulation of the Hungarian library field between the two world wars

SIPOS Anna Magdolna

Könyvtári Figyelő (Library Review) vol. 15. (51.) 2005. no. 3. pp. 461 – 501.

An earlier study by the author (SIPOS, Hungarian Library Review 1999/4) presented the normative state regulation of Hungarian libraries between 1945 and 1997. The current study focuses on the period between the two world wars. The studies do not only provide an overview of the relevant legal acts but also throw light on the political ambitions and ideological factors that played an important part in the legislation process.

The regulation of the library system between the two world wars should be examined on the basis of several interconnecting acts ensuring coherent legislation. These are the following: 1) the Act XIX of 1922 on the administration of the largest public collections and the system of certification of their staff 2) the Act on legal deposit that came into force in the same year and that was an addition to the relevant law of 1897 3) the article XI of 1929 on museums, libraries and archives and its ensuing provisions added in 1935 and 4) the Act VIII of 1934 on the Hungarian National Museum and on the system of large public collections. The cultural policies of the period (under the ministries of culture headed respectively by Kuno Klebelsberg and Bálint Hóman) played an important part in fostering a modern library system in Hungary. The history of the legal regulation of the Hungarian library field reflects the influence of international trends, but also fits into the library concept based on national traditions, determined by the cultural policies of the time.

Országos Széchényi Könyvtár