2015 March 10.


The Begining

The exact date of the establishment of the Franciscan Library in Gyöngyös is not known but probable it is the same date as the date of the foundation of the cloister. Francescans can say thank to Tamas Szecseny (†1354)  or one of his descendant for the building of the cloister.

Despite the fact that the library has survived even the collapse of the mediaeval Hungarian state in 1526 even the battles of the reformation and expect of a few conflagrations till 1950 the books were not moved out from the library the most ancient handwritten and printed books are from the XV. century. The list of the librarians is known from 1475. The principal of the religious house was in charge of the collection till 1762 and from that time till 1950 the diocese named a separete librarian. The most ancient cathalogue of the library is from 1613–1620 and there are listed 239 books and more 32 volumes in it. This collection was placed in not more than two or three bookcase which could stand in any room of the cloister.

The XVII-XVIII. Century

The Franciscan Library in Gyöngyös grown most increasingly during the turkish subjection in the second half of the XVII. century. The revolution of the thanks for the typography friars could get books cheaply and cheaply they saved the books carefully and they handed them out to the library. According to the testimony of the notices in the books in the XVI – XVIIth century the monks got the most newly theological and scientic works from the Parisian and Wiener booksellers so their culture and knowledge in science followed the most recent trend. After the city relieved from the Turkish subjection the library was renewed in the eighteenth century under reign superior domus Ferenc Wrancsics (1738-1741). The most ancient furniture of the library was made by  frater Liborius Oszler which is the second oldest furnishment in Hungary. The frazzled books wer rebound in a few phasis. The increments of the substance of the library in the second half of the XVIIIth century shows a very interesting changings. In this period a lot of „profane” books and magazines got into the collection: writings of the Hungarian polite- and escape literature wich are mostly unknown nowadays.

XIXth century and the begining of the XXth century

The collection was more transformed in the XIXth century: writings of the contemporary and classic polite literature, the popular scientic and ecclesial works and dictionaries were bought. The second known cathalogue of the library was written by Bernardin Farkas in 1808 (the first one written by Marton Sipos in 1764 is missing).

The library of the cholestrol was rearranged in July 1915 by magister Oswald Oslay. The nationwide known collection got emplacement in six rooms and was grouping by topic and the ancient issues got place in a separeted room on the grounds of easier handling. In 1930 the collection was rearrenged again by Ferdinand Kaizer and he published a printed cathalogue about the summary of the most valuable works.


The cloister survived the Second World War more or less blissfully. The agelong library pulled through of it also. The principal of the religious house Zsigmond P. Horvath and the magister of the clerics Aladar P.Karacsonyi prepared for the nationalization in 1950 before the deportation.. They had hide the noviciate a few valuable books and a lot of very important church equipments because they were worried about the sequester. The night between 9th and 10th of June in 1950 the monks were deportated nationwide but the executives of the nationalization found only a part of the collection of the Franciscan Library in Gyöngyös.After the deportation of the monks the building was without controll during a year. The rest pieces of the religious library were taken to the pulping mill; the objects of the museum - belonging to the library - disappiered. The most valuable  writings of the archives dated before the lost battle at Mohacs were transported to the Archives in Eger. The library was moved to the building of the former secondary school next to the Church of Saint Bertalan in the end of the April 1951 and it was transported to the castle of Orczy in 1958. The books released to the National Széchényi Library were got back to the cloister in 1979.

Revival after the democratic transformation

The original owner get back the collection in 18 December 1996. The holdings hidden  in 1950 turn up int he course of the wrecking of the  vestry and the tower in 28 April 1998: three cubic meter books, threehundred and two anciant printed matters, archive files, bound and unbound handwritings. The library pride Fust Bible printed in 1462 was also found. It survived the fortyeight years long walled almost without hurting. A part of the treasure come to light is visitable in the exhibition of the Franciscan Library in Gyöngyös.

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