The History of the Library of the University of Theatre and Film
The library was founded at the same time of the establishment of the University’s predecessor the Apprentice Actors’ School (Színészeti Tanoda). The secretary and at the same time the librarian of the School was Ede Paulay who supervised and enriched the collection for nine years. He did not have an easy job as there were no Hungarian language publications of the profession at that time. The oldest books of the present-day library are in German.
In the early days most of the holdings of the library were made up of the book donations and textbooks written by the teachers of the establishment. According to Paulay’s data the library collection of books comprised 2018 volumes in 1874. 684 volumes out of them encompass a range of subjects such as acting, music, aesthetics and history however there were plays for educational purposes, hand-copied books of words and prompt-books and director’s copies as well. The so-called musical-note library comprised 334 documents as it was among the tasks of the “Tanoda” to train opera singers as well as prose actors. When the training of stage-directors was launched in 1928 the inventory books of the time certify that the library had 5000 volumes and nearly half of them were plays. When further trainings were started in 1948 the collection and the acquisition of specialized literature closely tied to the education also enriched the holdings of the library. As our establishment is a university ranking one with an extended range of trainings not to mention the launch of the doctoral school these days the library has to measure up to the manifold professional demands and as a result now it functions as a public research library as well. Its main task is to facilitate the theoretical and practical education as much as possible and in order to achieve this it endeavors to collect nearly all the specialized literature of theatre and film. In 2007 the library won support from the National Cultural Fund of Hungary and has started to digitalise the catalogue of the holdings. The database, which is being steadily extended, can be accessed by the online catalogue.
Kálmán Nádasdy, a most influential artist of his time and then the Director General initiated the creation of the scores library section in 1965. The present day holdings of this library contain 9000 scores and 2563 sound-documents. The collection -according to musical styles – is made up of folk, vocal, classical and pop music items.
In 1994 the library was further extended by a media section, which used to facilitate the education in the film department but the library also collects recordings of prose and musical theatre performances as well thus enriching the already existing holdings. The library collects the recordings of the students’ exam tasks, exam films and recordings of important events capturing the life of the University.
Recently, there has been significant increase in the number of Hungarian and foreign films and recordings of theatre and opera performances.
We shall use the support in the framework of the project titled “Knowledge Depot of the University of Theatre and Film Arts – User-friendly Expansion in the Library of the University of Theatre and Film Arts”. The project is realised with the support of the European Union and the co-financing of the European Social Fund.
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