Exhibition on the history of the library

Before entering the Baroque reading room, have a look at our History of the Library Exhibition. The items and descriptions in the showcases and on the wall exhibit the main events in the history of the Cathedral Library, how the collection increased and changed over the years, and the relationship of the thousand-year-old archiepiscopal see with books. Below you can find the texts and descriptions of the documents exhibited – illustrated with photos.
The exhibition opened in 2002 for the thousand-year-old anniversary of the foundation of the Archdiocese. It was created and organised by the members of the Archdiocese Collection Society.

Showcase 1 - The Medieval Library

Prior to the current library, books were kept in the private libraries of cathedral chapters and archdioceses. From the reign of Saint Stephen until the beginning of the 16th century, approximately 300-400 volumes of codices and incunables were collected in the town of Kalocsa which were primarily used by the teachers, students and priests of the Archdiocese. In 1526, following the death of Archbishop Pál Tomori at the battle of Mohács, the Ottomans occupied Kalocsa in 1529. Members of the cathedral chapter fled the town, taking their valuables and books with them. From the medieval collection only two incunables were retrieved at the beginning of the 20th century. Although some pieces of the collection are preserved in other libraries across the world, most of the books got lost mainly as a result of the Ottoman rule. The two retrieved incunables are exhibited in our library:
S. Augustinus: Sermonum Opera
Basel: Johann Ammerbach, 1495.
From the library of Lector János Vásárhelyi (1502-1513).
Isidorus Hispalensis: Etymologiae…
Augsburg: Günther Zainer, 1472.
From the library of Provost Balázs Váradi (1478-1510)

T-O Map by Isidorus (Etimologiae, excerpt)


At the beginning of the 18th century, the primary tasks of the archbishops who were re-building the diocese included the reconstruction of the cathedral chapter. Canons, members of the cathedral chapter, were the primary assistants of the archbishops. Books were essential for their work as official notaries, for their liturgical activities, as well as for teaching in the seminary and for the church governing activities of the archbishops. Our knowledge and information about the 18th century collection of the library is based on catalogues and inventories from the era. One of the earliest inventories of the collection was made by Lector György Házy in 1752. The inventory contains 287 works altogether in 602 volumes.
Our earliest catalogue exhibited:
Inventarium librorum Metropolitanae Ecclesiae Colocensis… 1752
This "first catalogue" includes the following volumes:
Péter Pázmány Hodegus. Igazságra-vezérlő kalauz (Guide to Truth)
Nagyszombat: Jesuit College Press, 1766

Francis Bacon: Operum moralium et civilium…
London: R. Whitaker - E. Griffin, 1638.
René Descartes: Musicae compendium
Frankfurt am Main: Knoch, 1695.
The 18th century collection of the cathedral chapter library was primarily used by the clergy of the diocese. The receipts in the attachment of the inventory prove the borrowings of books. According to one of the receipts, Professor of Rhetoric, Ambrosius Calepinus borrowed an eight-language dictionary and works by Seneca and Cicero.
Ambrosius Calepinus: Dictionarium octo linguarum...
Basel: Sebastian Henricpetri, 1584. The front cover depicts Emperor Maximilian II.
Ex libris seal of Archbishop Gábor Patachich (1733-1745)

Magna Bibliotheca veterum patrum…
Cologne: Anton Hierat, 1618. On the cover: the coat of arms of Archbishop Gábor Patachich

Showcase 2 - Archbishops as Founders of the Library and Book Collectors

According to his 1784 deed of foundation in, Archbishop Ádám Patachich (1776-1784) bequeathed his collection of 19 000 books to the diocese. According to his order, the archbishop's library and the library of the cathedral chapter were united into one institution. He established a foundation that ensured the maintenance and management of the new institution. Following his orders, the library were jointly owned by the Archbishop of Kalocsa and the Cathedral Chapter of Kalocsa and it was named: Bibliotheca Metropolitanae Ecclesiae Colocensis or Cathedral Library of Kalocsa.

Portrait of Archbishop Ádám Patachich

Documents exhibited:

Last will and testament of Archbishop Ádám Patachich 20 June 1784
The archbishop provided for the maintenance of the joint library and the remuneration of the library staff with his foundation worth 13 000 Forint.

Excerpt from the last will and testament of Ádám Patachich concerning the library (1784)

Catalogus librorum Bibliothecae… Capituli Metropolitanae Ecclesiae Colocensis, qui libri ad Bibliothecam… Adami Patachich… mense Octobri Anno 1782. translati sunt. Catalogue of the collection of the cathedral chapter library which numbered 3 000 volumes in 1782 following the unification. Made by András Fogarassy.

Index librorum Bibliothecae… Adami… Patachich, episcopi Varadiensis… 1774. Catalogue of the library of Ádám Patachich made by Jakab Mariosa in Nagyvárad. The Library of Nagyvárad is seen in the center.

Letters and receipts of book acquisitions 1774-1778. Archbishop Patachich spared no effort to enrich his collection until the day of his death. His correspondences with booksellers and salesmen give proof for his book acquisitions.

Letters and invoices of book acquisition

The archbishop entrusted Vencel Werner, a bookbinder in Vienna, with the binding of the collection. The bookbinder-librarian owned a number of thematic catalogues and kept records of the books yet to be bound. The showcase exhibits pieces of leather that Vencel Werner used to bind the books.
Catalogus Authorum Classicorum, qui in Bibliotheca Patachichiana Colocensi reperiuntur Catalogue on the works of classical authors, second half of the 18th century.
Catalogus Manuscriptorum Bibliothecae Patachichianae, second half of the 18th century. Inventory and catalogue of the manuscript collection.
Registry of the foundation of the Kalocsa Cathedral Library (Bibliotheca Metropolitanae Ecclesiae Colocensis) in the cathedral chapter minute book. 1784.

In succession to Archbishop Ádám Patachich, László Kollonich (1787-1817) was enthroned as Archbishop of Kalocsa and proceeded with the book collection activities of his predecessor. He bought many volumes from the libraries of monasteries abolished by Joseph II. In many cases, he acquired books to preserve cultural-historical values. From 1791 his book acquisition activities were assisted by historian István Katona. Due to his expertise and knowledge of books, the collection was significantly expanded by the acquisition of history, geography and science books.

Portrait and ex-libris of Archbishop László Kollonich

Documents exhibited:
S. Augustinus: Explanatio psalmorum
Basel: Johann Ammerbach, 1489. From the collection of Archbishop Kollonich.
Guillelmus Duranti: Rationale divinorum officiorum.
Strassburg: Jordani de Quedlinburg, 1493.
Gaius Iulius Hyginus: Poeticum astronomicum.
Venice: Thomas de Blavis, 1488. From the collection of Archbishop Kollonich.
Ulisse Aldrovandi: Serpentum, et draconum historiae libri duo
Bologna: Bernia, 1640. From the collection of Archbishop Kollonich.
Jan Huygen van Linschoten: Navigatio ac Itinerarium
The Hague: Albertus Henricus, 1599. From the collection of Archbishop Kollonich.

  A page from the atlas by Linschoten

Catalogus manuscriptorum… Bibliothecae… Capituli Colocensis seu Patachichianae secundum originale… Martini Kovatsics per Werner Wenczel descriptas. Manuscript catalogue by Márton György Kovacsics with the handwriting of Vencel Werner, 1812.

Showcase 3 - 19th and 20th Century

By the beginning of the 19th century the collection contained more than 42 000 volumes. Many people visited Kalocsa to see the Baroque library room and the rarities of the collection. According to the guestbook that was kept from 1813 many famous Hungarian people visited the library including Gergely Czuczor, Flóris Rómer, Ágoston Trefort and Mihály Munkácsy with his wife.
During the primacy of Archbishop György Császka (1891-1904) the collection of the library reached a total of 60 000 volumes. The rooms could no longer store all the books and storage issue emerged. The archbishop decided to take a radical step: he had had a new detached library building designed. However, he wasn't able to carry his plan into execution because of his death in 1904.

Plan for the new library (never built)

Documents exhibited:
Visitors' book 1813-1829
Visitors' book 1836-1941

Signatures of Mihály Munkácsy and his wife in the visitors' book

János Török: Gróf Széchenyi István politikai iskolája (The Political Doctrines of Count István Széchenyi)
Pest: Landerer and Heckenast, 1863. With the author's dedication.
Joseph Annegarn: Világtörténet a katholikus ifjak’ számára (World History for the Catholic Youth)
Pest: Konrad Adolf Hartleben, 1846. From the collection of Archbishop József Kunszt.
Márton Varga: Á Gyönyörű Természet’ Tudománnya…(The Science of the Beautiful Nature)
Nagyvárad: János Tichy, 1808 With the ex-libris of Archbishop József Lonovics.
István Széchenyi: Hitel (Credit)
Pest: János Mihály Trattner and Istvány Károlyi, 1830. With handwritten dedication from the author, from the collection of Archbishop Lonovics.
János Zalka: Mária-czeli liliomok (Lillies of Mária-Czel)
Pest: Beimel - Kozma, 1858. With a letter written by the author, from the collection of Archbishop Lonovics.
Bálint Kiss: Magyar régiségek (Hungarian Antiquities)
Pest: Lajos Fűskúti Landerer, 1839 With the author's dedication, from the collection of Archbishop Lonovics.
Missale Romanum
Regensburg: F. Pustet, 1861. From the collection of Archbishop Lonovics.

Auguste Kanitz: Le Cardinal Haynald… Botaniste
Gand: A. Siffer, 1890.

Cardinal and Archbishop Lajos Haynald (1867-1891) was one of the greatest scientists and book collectors of his age. Archbishop Haynald was a botanist of European reputation, member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and other scientific societies. He left several hundreds of dedicated books to the library.
Lajos Haynald: A szentírási mézgák és gyanták termőnövényei (The Gum and Resin Plants of the Bible)
Kolozsvár: Miklós K. Papp, 1879. From the collection of Archbishop Haynald.
József B. Eötvös: Gondolatok (Thoughts)
Pest: Mór Ráth, 1864. With handwritten dedication by the author. From the collection of Archbishop Haynald.

Dedication by József Eötvös to Haynald (16 January 1864)

Venice: Petrus Lichtenstein, 1524. Gift of the Franciscans of Csíksomlyó to Archbishop Lajos Haynald.
Memory book for the name day of Archbishop György Császka
Kalocsa: Stephaneum, 1893.

The Breviary of Archbishop Haynald and the memory album of Archbishop Császka
The stamp of the Cathedral Library, second half of the 19th century