50th Anniversary Celebration Conference in Budapest

The Somogyi Library and its special collection, the Vasváry Collection, received an invitation to the Conference on Contacts and Contributions: American and Hungarian Institutional Relations and Their Influences, which was held September 15-17 in Budapest at the National Széchényi Library.

It was organized by the American Hungarian Foundation (New Brunswick, NJ), and by the National Széchényi Library. The occasion was that the American Hungarian Foundation was celebrating its 50th anniversary, both in the United States and in Hungary.

During the three days of the conference there were a lot of lectures on different subjects. On the first day of the conference, after the greetings by István Monok, Director General of the National Széchényi Library, August J. Molnar, President of the American Hungarian Foundation, H.E. George H. Walker Ambassador of the United States, there were three lectures: Reincorporating the Past: Accessing Hungarian Archival Documents in the U.S. by Tibor Frank, Introducing the American Hungarian Foundation: 50 Years in Service by August J. Molnar and American and Hungarian Scientific Contacts by Szilveszter E. Vizi.

The participants of the conference also took part in the opening of an exhibition, which showed the history of the American Hungarian Foundation from 1955 to 2005. On the evening of the first day of the conference, at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, there was the Foundation's 50th Anniversary Dinner and the presentation of the Abraham Lincoln Awards honoring the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Eötvös Loránd University, the Fulbright Commision/Hungarian-American Commissions for Educational Exchange, and the National Széchényi Library.

On the second day, further lectures were in different subjects. The titles of them and the names of the lecturers were: Reflections on Philanthropy for a Hungary in Transition read by August J. Molnar on behalf of Richard E. Quandt, The Rockefeller Foundation in Interwar Hungary by Erik Ingebrigtsen, Diplomatic Relations between Hungary and the United States: A Historical Overview by Géza Jeszenszky, American Hungarian Relief by Zoltán Fejős, Relations of American and Hungarian Art by Loránd Bereczky. In the afternoon there was a round-table discussion on the Future of Cooperation between the American Hungarian Foundation and Hungarian Museums, Libraries, Universities, and Research Institutes.

On the third day, there were lectures on different forms of the scholarships for education and research, and social relations between Hungary and the US. The conference ended with closing remarks by Huba Brückner and August J. Molnar, and with a visit to the Hungarian Wine Museum.

We would like to congratulate the four institutions who were honored with the Abraham Lincoln Award, and also recognize the 50th anniversary of the American Hungarian Foundation.

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