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  • Author or Editor: István Monok x
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Dans la pratique de catalogage en vigueur aux 17e–18e siècles, les soucis qu’on qualifierait aujourd’hui de bibliothéconomiques ne se sont pas affirmés. Cette affirmation porte également sur les bibliothèques dont le fonctionnement est déterminé par des prescriptions d’ordre monacal (constitutiones). Puisque les possesseurs ne pouvaient pas prévoir à long terme l’enrichissement de leurs bibliothèques, les possibilités d’acquérir de nouveaux livres sur des critères thématiques furent extrêmement limitées. Seulement une partie infime des bibliothèques fut soumise à un classement thématique détaillée (exécuté soit par le possesseur en personne, soit par son employé).La structure interne des bibliothèques, ainsi que les transformations thématiques de leur corpus constituent une source historique importante, puisqu’elles permettent d’étudier les tendances générales de la réception des idées occidentales dans la Hongrie de la période en question. Les deux phénomènes que nous devons impérativement retenir sont d’abord la sécularisation (la baisse de la participation des livres théologiques ou ecclésiastiques), puis la formation des collections patriotica (consacrées á l’histoire nationale).

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Dans la deuxième moitié du 15 e siècle, la cour royale de Hongrie devint un foyer culturel qui permettait le fonctionnement non seulement d’institutions appelées à accueillir des courants intellectuels venant de l’extérieur, mais aussi d’ateliers de création. Ces ateliers étaient bien connus en Europe. Sous le règne (1458–1490) du roi Mátyás Hunyadi (Mathias Corvinus), la Bibliotheca Corviniana , fondée dans la cour royale de Buda, est devenue une des plus grandes bibliothèques européennes de l’époque. Cette bibliothèque est devenue plus tard le symbole le plus souvent cité de la civilisation de Hongrie et, à partir du 19 e siècle, un élément solide de l’identité hongroise. Nous avouons, bien volontiers, qu’en façonnant le nouveau visage de la bibliothèque nationale, nous tenons à faire ressortir les liens spirituels qui unissent la Bibliotheca Corviniana à la Bibliotheca Regnicolaris fondée par le comte Ferenc Széchényi (1802).

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Central Europe (Europe-Between, Zwischeneuropa) belonged to the sphere of German cultural influence. Western intellectual trends came also through German language areas either directly or indirectly by transmitting ideas (e.g.: the products of Renaissance intellectual trends or the ideas of the Enlightenment). At the same time the peoples of the region were also in direct connection with one another. In several cases the rulers of Hungary, Bohemia and Poland had been the members of the same dynasties but there were periods when personal union was the form of governance. The institutionally organised protection of the mother tongue, the establishment of national literature and science took place at different times and lasted from the beginning of the sixteenth century until the end of the nineteenth century, with the exception of the Czech language. This vision of cultural history is presented in this lecture by comparing the similarities and the differences in reading history of the region. The first examples are taken from the Protestant Reformation and its preceding Spiritual and Humanist movements. I will discuss the direct connections between Hungary and Livonia (through the two examples of the Hungarian translation and publication of Georg Ziegler’s book and the Hungarian students of the Papal Seminary of Riga) touching also upon the shared university studies of students from several nations of Europe-Between (in Bologna, Padova, Wittenberg, Heidelberg, Strasburg, etc.).

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The present study started out by posing the question: what reasons might lead to the success of Hungarian intellectuals who were schooled in Hungary and who later emigrated to the West. From among the possible answers, we examined one: education and reading culture in Hungary was more complex in a given period than in Western Europe. We consider whether or not this answer is persuasive.

Based on the results provided by basic research in reading history in Hungary in the early modern period, one can safely say that the culture of experts in Hungary was more heterogeneous, and these experts constantly revisited traditional sources and kept them alive. On the other hand, in terms of the depth of professional knowledge and the level of concentration on a given field they were lagging behind their contemporary colleagues in Western Europe. This situation produced a dual eff ect: experts in Hungary had a stronger sense of tradition and they looked for transitional solutions due to the lack of the latest technical development and literature. Out of the Hungarian context, however, they produced outstanding achievements thanks to the more heterogeneous nature of their expertise.

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