The Somogyi Library has been the home of the Vasváry Collection of the history of Hungarian-Americans since 1978.
The founder of the Collection Edmund Vasvary (1888-1977) was a Reformed pastor, an expatriate of Szeged. He travelled to the United States in 1914 to help the pastor of the Hungarian Reformed Church in Pittsburgh and its vicinity. After a while he became a researcher and chronicler of the history of Hungarian-Americans.
He devoted more than fifty years of his life to research and collecting data and documents concerning the history of Hungarians in the United States. In addition to a great number of articles, he wrote a bilingual (English and Hungarian) monograph on Lincoln's Hungarian Heroes (Washington, D. C., 1939), which contains biographies of the Hungarian participants of the Civil War.
This unique Collection consists of 437 loose-leaf volumes containing press clippings, manuscripts, booklets, letters, photos and over one thousand books including rarities that were published in the middle of the last century when Louis Kossuth, leader of the 1848-49 revolution and Governor of Hungary made a trip in the United States (December 1851 to July 1852). The Collection is complemented with more than twenty thousand filing cards with biographical and bibliographical data.
The Collection offers abundant information on the history of American Hungarian connections from the beginnings to the present day. It contains data about the activities of Hungarian-Americans in assorted walks of life including literature, religion, sciences, arts, politics, film, music etc., as well as information on various American Hungarian organizations.
The Collection was microfilmed in 1975, one of the two copies going to the American Hungarian Foundation (300 Somerset Street, New Brunswick, NJ 08903), the other to the Manuscript Division of the National Széchényi Library (H-6720 Budapest, Budavári Palota F Épület, Hungary).
The Collection is alive and continuously increasing with articles, books, newspapers, off-prints, manuscripts and various materials from institutions and individuals both in the United States and in Hungary. We received significant documents from the Library of Congress in 1994. The donation contains biographical data of 930 American Hungarian individuals, which were collected by the Hungarian Reference Library of New York (1937-1942) originally for an American Hungarian Lexicon.
The Vasvary Collection is an indispensable source for researchers and students of Hungarian-Americans.
The material of the Collection is non-circulating and can be studied in the Library only.
Publications of the Somogyi Library in connection with the Vasváry Collection:
Mutató a Vasváry-gyűjteményhez.Hungarian-Americans. Compiled by András Csillag. Szeged, 1984. Index to the original material of the Collection, in Hungarian.
Vasváry Ödön: Magyar Amerika. Szeged, 1988. A selection from the writings of Vasváry, published on the centennial of his birth, in Hungarian.
Vasváry Collection Newsletter. Published biannually (June and December) since 1989. Editor: Mária Kórász, Keeper of the Collection.
Another publication concerning the Vasváry Collection:
The Edmund Vasváry Collection by András Csillag
Hungarian Studies (MTA), Vol. 1/1. 1985. pp.123-130.
For further information, please contact Andrea Vida
Somogyi Library, Vasváry Collection
H-6720 Szeged, Dóm tér 1-4. Hungary
Mailing address: H-6701 Szeged, Pf.: 441.
Telephone: (36-62) 425-525
Fax: (36-62) 630-601