The Somogyi Library


In 1879, the town of Szeged was destroyed by a great flood of the Tisza River. Afterwards, it was rebuilt as a modern city with international cooperation. Its cultural rebirth was started by a donation from Károly SOMOGYI (1811-1888), canon of Esztergom, who presented the city with his library of 43 701 volumes, a collection of major scholarly value at the time. Thus Somogyi became the founder of the present library. The collection represented a wide variety of disciplines, and it was intended to form one of the bases of a university to be established later in the city. The Somogyi Library opened on October 16, 1883. Between 1897 and 1984 it was located in the Közmûvelõdési Palota (Palace of Public Education, now a museum).

The new library building, occupying 6 500 sq. meters of floor-space, was opened on June 6, 1984, and it is now open to readers on workdays from 10 am to 7 pm., Saturdays 10 am to 4 pm.

Today, the stock includes over 880 000 books and 638 newspapers and periodicals.

In addition, there are 19 branch libraries throughout the city.

The new library building consits of a ground floor, and four upper floors.

  • A children's department with an open shelf system and audio-visual equipment is located on the ground floor and is intended mainly for children aged 6-14.
  • Floor 1 houses the arts and music department, comprising a large collection of art books, a music and record library where records may be borrowed, and finally a studio seating fourty people and which has then simultaneous listening channels. On this floor is also found the periodicals reading room where current issues are accessible on open shelves; these, however, cannot be borrowed.

There are catalogues on every floor for the stock of that particular section. The general catalogues for the stock of the whole library (up to 1982) are a vailable on microfish. The OPAC collection contains the books, bought since 1998, and the old hungarica collection.

In addition, to these four floors which serve general cultural and educational needs, there is
  • Floor 3, which provides for primarily scholarly and scientific requirements. It is here that books not intended for loan and some old issues of periodicals can be read; here, too, are the catalogues, and finally the special collections, items of which are for study on the spot.

The Special Collections

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