The book collection comprises 21,000 documents in Hungarian and other languages (English, German, French, Russian, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Czech, Slovak, Polish, Bulgarian, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Arabic, Chinese), representing the core works of universal film literature, manuals, lexicons, filmographies, works on film history and aesthetics, artists’ monographies, series. The library can be searched through an online catalogue.
These are Hungarian screenplays dating from the 1930s onwards. Our collection is expanded through purchases and bequests.
Journals and periodicals
The significant collection of film periodicals comprising more than 4000 copies of 270 Hungarian and approximately 300 foreign titles contains numerous unique items.
Film periodicals started being published in Hungary in the 1910s. The library has many copies of the Mozgófénykép Híradó from 1908–1922, although it is not a complete collection. Of the essential journals published in the interwar period, Filmkultúra from 1928 to 1938 edited by Andor Lajta, and Magyar Film published between 1939 and 1944, are essential sources for research into film history.
Filmkultúra, the specialist periodical of the Film Archive, appeared in printed format between 1960–1995, and the Film Annual - the chronicle of a year of Hungarian films, appeared annually from 1979 until 2009. In addition to these two volumes, the Archive published numerous periodicals and series on film history and film science starting from the 1970s right up until the early 2000s.
The collection also has bound volumes of the most important European (British, German, French, Italian, Russian, Czech, Polish) and overseas film periodicals. These include: Sight & Sound from 1938, Bianco e Nero from 1940, Iskusstvo Kino from 1948, Cahiers du Cinéma from 1952, Positif from 1955. Searches in foreign periodicals published after 1972 are facilitated by the FIAF International Index to Film Periodicals database that can be used at the Archive.
Since 2010, we only subscribe to Hungarian film periodicals (currently 12 subscriptions).
The manuscripts collection stores studies and articles by staff and researchers of the Archive, as well as Hungarian translations of foreign film theoretical and film history works, theses and correspondence. The stock numbers more than 3100 items, which can be searched in the library’s online catalogue.
Andor Lajta bequest
The bequest of 1300 items came into the possession of the Archive not long after the death of Andor Lajta, in 1962, and to this day it represents one of the most treasured items in the library’s collection. Copies of carefully and systematically collected European, and within that mainly German (amateur and sound) film technology, photo and film history, film theory specialist publications, annuals, film copyright-related brochures, Hungarian film and cinema history publications – in many instances, dedicated to Lajta – dating back to the 1920s make his collection unique. The majority of other bequests came into the possession of the Archive and library as donations by successors. The most important bequests are from: István Székely, Zoltán Sipos, Rezső Icsey, Ágost Pacséry, Sári Megyery, József Csőke, Pál Kertész, Kadar Jan, Ferenc Lohr, Félix Máriássy, Árpád Szabó, László Nádasy, Péter Szász, Sándor Papp, Károly Trencsényi, János Tárnok, Péter Ábel, Péter Székelyi. Work on these bequests is currently suspended.
Feature film and personal dossiers
The collection comprises primarily feature film and personal dossiers. There are nearly 15,000 feature film (13,000 foreign and around 2000 Hungarian) dossiers and 5700 personal dossiers on creative figures from the film world in the collection qualified as archival material according to the act on archives. The vast majority of the stock is made up of Hungarian press cuttings, but it also contains other documents (invitations, programmes, film descriptions, distributor notices, advertisements) connected to films and artists. More than 9000 dubbing and dialogue lists for foreign and Hungarian feature films belong here, along with 1200 dossiers of items made up of articles on film festivals, film weeks, film days.
The library also has valuable and one-off short-run publications: postcards, cinema leaflets, programme guides, blueprints. Among our short-term plans is the establishment of a separate library for short-run publications and the complete digitization of items from previous decades. 400 items from the collection can already be viewed at the National Széchényi Library (OSZK) Hungarian Digital Image Library (www.kepkonyvtar.hu).