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The history of the Library

In the 1870s, a desire and initiative to establish a Historical society that would collect materials and write the history of the city and the county became prominent. The initial initiative was taken in 1882 by the vice prefect Endre Šmaus by forming an initiative board for the society foundation whose members were Ištvan Ivanji, Dr Ede Margalič, Đerđ Radič and others. With their effort, the Historical society of Bač–Bodrog county was founded on May 11th 1883.

Since the foundation of the Historical society of Bač–Bodrog county in 1883, it was planned that the work on writing the history of the county would be made easier by collecting expert works, monographs, manuscripts and other literary materials. In the draft of the Society’s rules that were created by Dr Ede Margalič, the secretary of the society, the foundation of a special library department was planned. Based on the decision by the Historical Society Assembly from February 1884, Dr Ede Margalič was in charge to ask for gifts for the future Museum and its library in all county papers. In 1908, he arranged the library fund. The last Society Assembly, that was held right before WWI ended, adopted a report on the condition of the Museum collections where it was stated that the library had 2.352 books. Until the renewal of the Society, the Museum collections, as well as the library fund, were closed for public. In 1930, the Museums commission, with the permission of the Royal Banovina Administration, reviewed the Museum library and stated the condition of the literary fund at the time. They’ve put the stamp of the Danube Banovina.

During the interwar period, the library was enriched by the personal library of Dr Edo Margalič.

Dr Imre Fraj bequeathed his expert library to the City Museum by his legacy in 1952.

From its foundation, the Expert library of the Historical society of Bač–Bodrog county had significant scientific works of its time. The members of the Society worked on writing the Bač–Bodrog monograph, which was published in 1896 on the occasion of celebrating a millennium since the Hungarians came to the Pannonian basin. The two–volume monograph A Magyarorság vármegyéi és városai was published in Sombor’s first printing house owned by Nandor Biterman and is now kept in the Sombor City Museum Library.

A copies of the Museum Yearbook Èvкönyv, which was published from 1885 to 1916, are of extraordinary significance. The Museum library also features a significant edition of the Pallas encyclopaedia of the Austro–Hungarian Empire, A Pallas nagy lexikona, in 18 volumes. The materials from that period are almost entirely written in Hungarian and German language.

The Library today

Nowadays, the Sombor City Museum Library consists of three units:

Nowadays, the Library features expert monograph and serial publications in the fields of archaeology, history, numismatics, ethnology, history of art and museology. In accordance with the goal of the Library operation, the materials are systematically processed.

An extraordinary value of the Sombor City Museum Library is featured in the part that was, as a personal library of Dr Imre Fraj, bequeathed to the Museum as a legacy. Born in Sombor, Dr Fraj was known in the city as an avid collector of old money and books. Over the years, Dr Fraj collected an extraordinarily valuable expert literature in the field of numismatics. Those were the works from the Ancient Period and Celt numismatics, expert numismatics periodical magazines, works dedicated to Medieval and new European numismatics, as well as the works dedicated to the European medals. A special place in this library by all means belongs to Corpus Nummorum Italicorum, a monumental multi volume work of the Italian king Vittorio Emanuele III, a work of timeless value. The entire numismatics fund of Fraj’s library belongs to the publishing period from the start of the 19th century, all the way to the mid–20th century, with the exception of several editions from the end of 17th century and the start of the 18th century. Among those editions, there’s bibliophile value even today. His valuable and expert library, Dr Fraj bequeathed as a legacy to the Sombor City Museum Library in 1952, where it is located today as a special unit.

Library users

Given the specificity of the materials that are kept in the Sombor City Museum Library, the users are, above all, museum curators, scientific and expert workers that find the necessary data for their expert and scientific works there.

The Museum Library is located on the ground floor of the building and is open to visitors from Monday to Friday during Museum working hours. It is designated for experts and students. The books cannot be taken out of the Museum.

If you wish to become our user, you can contact Lidija Sekulić, the librarian of the Sombor City Museum by dialling +381 (0)25 436160 and via email.

Within the Library, books and other publications from the fields of museology, archaeology, history, numismatics, ethnology, art and social sciences are collected, preserved and processed.

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