Fővárosi Szabó Ervin Könyvtár is a famous Budapest library where all bookworms will find their own little kingdom of joy. Although there are several libraries of the same name in the city, the main one is located in the impressive neo-Baroque Wenckheim Palace which was constructed in the 19th century. As the quantity of books became bigger and bigger as years went on, the library had to open its offices in several other buildings. The palace, which spreads over an ara of 13 thousand square meters, contains over 1.1 million books.
The library celebrated its 100th birthday in 2004. It was created in 1903 with the merging of two specialized libraries. It opened its doors one year later, with its contents first being mostly on social studies. The books in the library at that time were taken from the City Office for Statistics, so the books covered topics such as demographics, statistics, administration, sociology etc.
Ervin Szabó, a famous Hungarian sociologist, was one of the first employees of the establishment, which led to the development of its department of sociology. In addition to this, he also reorganized the library in 1910. However, not all that was planned came into existence, as World War One foiled the plans. The building couldn’t be rebuilt as Ervin Szabó wanted it to be, so the library’s contents were divided among five smaller libraries. In 1912, a special comittee was assigned to enriching its collection.
The city of Budapest bought the Venckheim Palace in 1927. The building has been decorating the city center since 1889. It took 4 years to renovate the palace to house the library, and in the ensuing years the library opened another 13 offices. Even though the building suffered many misfortunes, it wasn’t nearly as damaged as other buildings in Budapest. After 1945, renovative work was one again started in full swing to make the building fitting of the modern times ahead of it. It was re-named in 1946 after its former manager Szabó Ervin.
In 1955, the national library of social studies and modern history was established, and in 1968 it was renamed as the National Specialist Sociology Library. It contains the contry’s biggest collection of books on sociology.
In addition to many informative books, the establishment contains analytical and suggested sources. The building is mostly frequented by students and intellectuals, but it also attracts tourists because of its beauty and the history and collection it contains. It answers all of its visitor’s questions.
Author of the article: Ljubiša Đuričić