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German, Slavic, & East European Languages & Literatures

Assisting your research in German, Slavic, and East European Studies

Hungarian Collections in the Alexander Library

Hungarian Movies at Rutgers (DVDs and videotapes; no streaming)

Streaming sources that include Hungarian video:

The Alexander Library has strong holdings for recent scholarship on Hungary and a good collection of nineteenth and twentieth century Hungarian histories and national bibliographies.  The major bibliographic series are available in the Alexander Library Reference Room.

The library's Hungarian serial holdings include Nyugat (1908–1941); Századok (1869–1996, with gaps); Acta Historica (1951–1989); Demográfia (1960–2010); Revue d'histoire comparée (Paris, 1943–1948); Új látóhatár (Munich, 1967–1989).

Special Collections/University Archives

Special Collections/University Archives holds three collections of Hungarian significance: The President's Committee for Hungarian Refugee Relief, the Hungarian Defense Council, and the Kossuth/Ruttkay Letters.

The President's Committee for Hungarian Refugee Relief oversaw the reception and resettlement of 30,000 refugees of the Hungarian Revolution between December 1956 and May 1957. The chairman, Tracy S. Voorhees (1890–1974), kept two boxes of the committee's records and donated them with the rest of his papers to Rutgers. This material is freely available online at

The Hungarian Defense Council was organized by the Rev. Andrew Kósa of New Brunswick to demonstrate Hungarian loyalty to the U.S. war efforts in World War II. Rev. Kósa requested that local men serving in the military write him about their experiences, and he donated their letters and post cards (1942–1945, one box) in this collection. The correspondence has been published and analyzed in Ilona Kovács, Soldier Letters: Second Generation American Hungarian Soldiers in the US Army During World War II, 1942–1945 (Budapest: Néprajzi Múzeum, 2012). Special Collections possesses a photocopy of the Kossuth Ruttkay letters held by the American Hungarian Foundation. The University Archives preserve documentation on the history of Hungarian language instruction and of the Institute for Hungarian Studies.

Hungarian Heritage Center of the American Hungarian Foundation

This is an independent institution located at 300 Somerset St. in New Brunswick.  Much of its book collection can be found in Rutgers' online library catalog and requested for pickup at any of the Rutgers libraries. It is the most important repository of Hungarian-American books, periodicals, and manuscripts in the US. Holdings of material pertaining to Hungary are outstanding, but less unique.

The three pillars of the archives are the Bethlen Collection, William Penn Collection (both of these are on deposit from other Hungarian ethnic organizations), and the microfilm of the Vasváry Collection.
For more information and to plan a visit, go to its website.  

Hungarian American Newspapers

There is good coverage in Alexander's microforms collection of the most important Hungarian newspapers of New Jersey: Magyar híradó; Híradó =Perth Amboy Herald (Perth Amboy, 1945–69); Magyar hirnök /hirlap (New Brunswick, 1915, 1922–70); Függetlenség = Independence (Trenton, 1922–42, 1950–70); Magyar szó (Perth Amboy, 1920–22); Newarki hírlap (Newark, 1946-1958).

The Hungarian Heritage Center has outstanding holdings of Hungarian American newspapers.  Among the most substantial runs are:

Akron magyar hírlap, 1930-7, 1944-64
Amerikai-kanadai magyar élet, 1976-9, 1988-97
Amerikai magyar népszava, 1914-2013
Amerikai magyar szó, 1973-89
Amerikai magyar világ, 1964-78
Amerikai magyarság, 1949-2014
Bérmunkás, 1944-53
Bethlehemi híradó, 1937-70
Detroiti [magyar] újság, 1930-75
Függetlenség, 1930-70
Híradó [Perth Amboy], 1930, 1940-70
Kis dongó, 1944-66
Lorain és vidéke, 1922, 1947-70
Magyar hírnök, 1930, 1940, 1947-70

Many, years of these papers, and others, have been digitized and are freely available, hosted by Arcanum Digitheca.

The Bethlen Collection

The Bethlen Collection comprises the greatest part of the HHC archives, 1,000 linear feet in extent, it is divided into (1) Church Papers, chiefly of the Hungarian Reformed Church; (2) Hungarian ethnic organizations; (3) Personal Papers of clergy and lay people; (4) Subject collections: Culture; Hungarian history; human rights; Transylvania; Czechoslovakia, and theology; (5) Miscellaneous collections, including immigrants’ papers, fragments, and diaries. The Bethlen Collection includes many books and periodicals. The above link takes you to a detailed inventory.

Other Collections in the HHC Archives

The William Penn Collection documents the history of two of the largest and oldest Hungarian American organizations, the Verhovay Aid Association (founded in 1886) and the Rákóczi Aid Association (1887), along with many smaller Hungarian societies that united under the current name in 1955. The collection consists of correspondence, photographs, and ledgers documenting the activity of these organizations. Edmund Vasváry (1888–1977) compiled an encyclopedic collection on Hungarian Americans: 437 loose-leaf volumes with clippings, manuscripts, pamphlets, and photos; over 1,000 books; and 2,000 file cards about individuals. His collection was returned to Hungary and resides in Szeged, but microfilm of it exists in the AHF, the Library of Congress, and the Széchényi Library. A description of the Vasváry Collection is available online (in Hungarian).

The rest of the archives comprises about 290 linear feet, including roughly 60 individuals’ personal papers. The 30,000 registration cards of refugees processed at Camp Kilmer in 1956–57 are here, and 97 original letters written by Louise Kossuth Ruttkay, the sister of Lajos Kossuth, to Eliza Elvira Kenyon between 1875 and 1897. Special Collections at Rutgers holds photocopies of the Kossuth Ruttkay letters. The archives’ sound recordings are valuable sources for musicology and local history, including 200 records donated by George Jelinek. There are no detailed finding aids for most of this material.

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