Library Mission Statement
The mission of the Central Library and the member libraries is supporting the learning and searching activities carried out on the university, supporting intellectual and personal needs of users by providing free access to information and knowledge resources, offering instructional program to help and assist improving skills and competencies for use information sources. The library takes part in knowledge society improving by enchancing and supporting life-long learning.
History of the Central Library
The Central Library of the University of Sopron is one of the oldest reference libraries of Hungary. It was established at the time of the foundation of the first Hungarian School for Training Mining Officers in Selmecbánya. This school was created to meet the needs of the era, and it was approved by a statute laid down by the Treasury on 22nd June, 1735. The organisational and educational regulations, the founding document of the school, aimed to serve the entire monarchy's goals, required "the acquisition of studies written by noted authors" stating their titles. It required the students to "read out loud the studies acquired by the mining school in their free time". The library began to function with the founding of the school.
When Maria Theresa laid down the terms of the academic education from 1762 to 1770, Selmecbánya became one of the major scientific centres of Europe, teaching mining-metallurgical, related mathematical, geodetical-cartographical, chemical, geological, forestry and national economic sciences. The development of the library was in the interest of students who were devoted to these sciences. At the Selmecbánya Academy, the following excellent scientists lectured: Jacquin, Delius, Peithner, Poda, Scopoli, Patzier, Doppler, Wilckens, Feistmantel, Schwarz, etc. They all wanted to fill the shelves of the library with the books of Euclid, Euler, Tabernaemontanus, Segner, Mariotte, Bernoulli, Leupold, Belidor, Galilei, Boyle, Ampére, Faraday, Gay-Lussac, Linné, Buffon, Carlovitz, A. Humboldt, Calvör, Cramer, etc. The holdings of the library were expanded from the 1770s. There were significant book acquisitions, and the expansion of the holdings became a permanent task.
When the Forestry School was established in 1808, the acquisition of special literature expanded to the new scientific fields of study, although it can be documented that earlier they had obtained and used special forestry literature. One of the duties of the teaching assistants of forestry was to "take care of" the library. There are records of librarians and their sphere of activity going back to 1841. The activities on behalf of the library of Frigyes Schwarz, who was both a forestry professor and a mining councillor, and of Károly Wagner, senior lecturer, have to be commemorated. Thanks to them it is possible to track the development and the classification of the holdings based on the book of inventory from 1862. The classified order was as follows:
- Mining Engineering
- Salt mining
- Miscellaneous Scientific Studies
After the Compromise of 1867 the official language of the education became Hungarian, and the institution became a state institution, but the area from which it attracted students was reduced. The development of the library slowed down as well. Probably this was because the Hungarian forestry professional language and literature had to be created first. Károly Wagner and Adolf Divald played a major role in this process.
By the turn of the 19th-20th centuries the former development and the balanced acquisition of the library was re-established. The amount of the Hungarian professional literature increased considerably, particularly the amount of forestry books and journals. They also acquired social science holdings in this period.
World War I and the subsequent events set back the development. The library moved with the Institution to Sopron in 1919, but it was not able to function for several years after that. The whereabouts of the historical holdings remained unknown. However it is known for certain, that the Archabbey in Pannonhalma preserved the most valuable works for a long period.
After years of difficulties and organisational changes, the future of the library was finally back on track when World War II broke out. The original library holdings were to have been transported to Germany, but instead the most precious rarities were hidden in a secret place. The holdings survived the war, but because of the lack of personnel, the functioning of the library faced a lot of difficulties.
Between 1949 and 1962 there were many changes in the functioning of the school affecting the fate of the library's holdings. The Faculties of Mining Engineering and Metallurgy had to move to the Heavy Industry Technical University founded in Miskolc. At that time the library remained in Sopron, as the library of the Agricultural University's Faculty of Forestry. Later it became the library of the Forestry College. At the same time it had two roles. It had to manage the holdings of the Faculty of Mining and Metallurgy until the resettlement to Miskolc was concluded. The original holdings had to be divided, which led to a number of disputes and difficulties. Since 1952, the forestry library has been separated from the mining- metallurgical engineering reference library.