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Teleki_LibraryThe Teleki-Bolyai Library in Târgu Mureș is one of the most valuable cultural institutions in the city. Through the work of the last decades, it has contributed to the enrichment and cultural shaping of Transylvania. The library started functioning in the autumn of 1802 as the encyclopedic library of 40,000 volumes of Samuel Teleki, initially under the name Teleki Library. It took a lot of work to establish the library.

The founder of the library, Count Samuel Teleki (1739-1822), formed his own collection of books that he gathered during his study visit abroad. In 1763 he returned to Transylvania, where he continues to work and develop a network of purchasing books – through his acquaintances he manages to bring home books with the help students who were studying abroad. The volumes purchased like this were brought to the castle in Dumbrăvioara in an extremely short time – just in a few weeks.

In 1797 the Federal Chancellery in Vienna is forced to give up, Teleki put on carts his prized book collection as a treasure, and sends it to Târgu Mureș. On his return, implements the original plan, and in April 1799 he notes on the building plan the commencement date of constructions. Completion takes place in the autumn of 1802 and Teleki personally monitors the arrangement of the books.

Teleki_SamuelThe will of Samuel Teleki and the supplementary document from 1881 clearly states how the library should be further developed and enhanced, and also provides financial support for this purpose. Balázs Orbán predicted the following future for the library: if Chancellor’s heirs will listen to the advice to develop the library as it was established, it will become an outstanding library, without competition in the country. He also recommended to the supervisors of the will to force the heirs to perform the task, as these are national treasures – and in this case excuses can not be accepted (Balázs Orbán: Description of the Szeklerland, Budapest, 1870, page 142). After the founder’s death in 1864, a relatively large purchase is made when the library buys the personal collection of about 800 judicial volumes belonging to Récsi Emil for 1,800 forints.

After World War II, the Teleki Library becomes a public institution, and in 1955 it is united with the Reformed College’s Great local library, numbering 80,000 volumes. After the cessation of its religious character, in memory of the two Bolyai, the library receives the Bolyai Library name. The two libraries have worked separately for a certain period of time, then in 1962 it is renamed Teleki-Bolyai Library. The collection of books grows with the addition of the collection of the Unitarian Gymnasium’s library from Cristuru Secuiesc, plus the library of the Franciscan Monestary from Mica. The collection currently has 200,000 volumes, including private collections, libraries, dismantled religious libraries, and the book collections of castles in the region.

Exhibitions

Teleki_Teka_Ceremonial_BookAs in similar libraries, the Teleki-Bolyai Library organized exhibitions presenting valuable collections. Over the years, they developed permanent exhibitions in the library: since 1942 in the Great Hall a permanent exhibition showing the composition of the collection, and the Bolyai Memorial Museum. Exhibitions are organized in the old reading room, presenting the library’s values regularly. These may be related to the anniversary events, or simply present the valuable volumes of the collection.

Records show that the anniversary of the Teleki Library’s opening was celebrated with exhibition only twice: in 1972, the library has met 170 years, and from the death of Samuel Teleki have passed 150 years, then in 1977 at the anniversary of 175 years after opening a series of events were held in the library.

Bolyai_MuseumSince the eighties, library staff organizes two or three temporary exhibitions a year. Visitors can admire the old library books with beautiful illustrations, European and local printed products, maps from the last centuries, hand colored zoological books and botanical atlases, and old art books (as Dee Nagy Anikó wrote in the book entitled Teleki-Bolyai Library after WWII). The exhibits are varied, attracting a wider audience to visit the Teleki-Bolyai Library.

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Contact with the public

Teleki_Library_OwlPermanent and thematic exhibitions play an important role in maintaining contact with the public, these having success right from the start. Through these exhibitions the library keeps in touch with the public from the country and abroad, so students, tourists, and visitors are given the opportunity to learn more about the history of the library, while admiring the collection of books.

The Teleki-Bolyai Library operates for more than 200 years, being from the beginning a significant cultural institution that has enriched the treasures of Hungarian culture. Exhibitions have conquered the public, books kept on shelves with wire mesh and bibliophile rarities attracting visitors from all over the world. Those wishing to explore the treasures are expected by the welcoming open doors of the lecture hall.
Visiting Program:

Museum – weekdays from Tuesday to Friday between 10 am and 18 pm, and in weekends between 10 am and 13 pm
Lecture Hall – weekdays from Tuesday to Friday between 10 am and 18 pm, and on Saturdays between 10 am and 13 pm.

The Teleki-Bolyai Library is closed on Romanian national holidays, and on Mondays.

Official website: www.telekiteka.ro

 

Map:


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Photo sources:

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