The Anniversary of IAML Hungary

IAML Hungary held its autumn meeting on 11 October 2023 in Budapest, at the House of Music, Hungary. The professional day provided the framework for the celebration of the association’s belated 50th anniversary.

The event was moderated by János Ferenc Szabó, President of the Hungarian National Branch. On behalf of the House of Music, Hungary, László Záhonyi, Head of the Multimedia Library, welcomed the guests. Pia Shekhter, President of IAML sent a video message of congratulations and drew the attention of Hungarian professionals to the upcoming events of IAML. Dávid Zsoldos, President of the Hungarian Music Council, also emphasized the importance of international professional presence in his welcome speech. Balázs Mikusi, Executive Director of the RISM Editorial Center, sent a letter highlighting the achievements of the Hungarian National Branch over the past two decades and wishing that the association would continue to be the good community it has become, while continuing its successful professional activities.

After the opening speeches, Julianna Gócza gave a presentation entitled Half a century in pictures. Episodes from the history of IAML Hungary, in which she recalled some important events and people from the past and present of the Hungarian National Branch of IAML. After clarifying the complications surrounding the year of the formation of the Hungarian Branch (see the branch's page on the international IAML website) she spoke about the opportunities for international contacts in the 1970s in Hungary, and the role of Iván Pethes (1924–1980) in building up the Hungarian and international network of Hungarian music librarianship. She outlined her presentation according to the three main activities of the Hungarian National Branch: participation in the IAML, contributing to the R-projects (RISM, RILM etc.), and the music librarian training courses in Hungary, coordinated by IAML Hungary.

Julianna Gócza was the President of IAML Hungary practically from 1998 (the election was in 1999) until May 2023 and is currently a member of the Board as treasurer. It is thanks to her that the Hungarian Branch has been an independent civil association since 2005. It is to her credit that the Hungarian National Branch has been able to re-enter the international organisation’s activities over the past two decades, and that providing Hungarian data for the international music repertories has been restarted.

On the occasion of the 50th anniversary, the Hungarian National Branch of IAML prepared a Hungarian translation of the IAML brochure. Hungarian is now the seventh language – along with English, German, French, Italian, Spanish and Polish – in which the “Welcome to IAML” brochure is available.

To mark the anniversary, a very large number of music librarians and library professionals attended the event, and, as usual, the Hungarian National Branch invited members of the MKE Music Librarians’ Association. This time, several colleagues from member institutions were able to attend. Many of them had not met for years and some had come from abroad for this event. During the buffet lunch, there was an opportunity to talk, exchange professional experiences and make new contacts.

At the beginning of the afternoon programme, the traditional greetings took place: the Presidency greeted the 80- and 90-year-old members of the Hungarian music librarianship profession with a commemorative plaque and flowers, Veronika Vavrinecz, who turned 90 in November, and 80-year-old Magdolna Forrai and Eszter Vida. After the greetings, the new institutional member of the Hungarian National Group, the Multimedia Library of the House of Music, Hungary, and its staff – Borbála Szakács, Béla Szilárd Jávorszky and László Záhonyi – were introduced. House of Music, Hungary  is one of the newest music institutions in Hungary. The building, which has won numerous international architectural awards, was designed by Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto. The top floor houses the library, which focuses on Hungarian popular music. After a lively discussion, the participants had the opportunity to see the temporary exhibition of the House of Music, Hungary, entitled They wrote the song for us! The golden age of Hungarian popular music and its social impact from 1957 to the regime change. The exhibition was guided by its curator, Béla Szilárd Jávorszky.

The professional day was supported by the Municipality of the 1st district of Budapest.


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