At Ideas for Freedom 2019 a number of comrades signed a petition I had drawn up calling for access to the Lukács Archive.
You may remember that over a year ago his old flat which functioned as a library, archive and museum was closed down and the archives removed by the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. Since then the whereabouts of the Archive have remained unknown.
László Lovász, the President of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences has replied to the petition, and I thought comrades might like to see the reply. Cautiously, I would say that the hard line previously adopted by Lovász has softened somewhat and the HAS does appear to be making documents available electronically, although they still refuse to disclose the whereabouts of the archive.
It is far too early to claim any sort of victory but this may be the first sign of a change of heart on the HAS.
I’m sure the comrades who signed the petition will be pleased to know they are "prominent professionals".
Letter from László Lovász
In response to your letter of inquiry and petition signed by further prominent professionals I hereby wish to inform you that the Hungarian Academy of Sciences is fully aware of the scientific significance of the György Lukács archive and library.
We understand that the academic community worldwide is interested in its preservation for future potential users and therefore the Library and Information Centre of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences took the initiative to preserve the memory and legacy of György Lukács, therefore the following actions have been commenced:
- The Library and Information Centre of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences fully pays the rental fee and preserves the flat that was once home of the philosopher during his last years and ensures the maintenance of the facility.
- Colleagues of the Library and Information Centre of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences have processed György Lukács’s library and the database is available via the integrated system of the Library at: bit.ly/lu-ar1. The pdf-version of the catalogue (still as a manuscript) is available via the link: bit.ly/lu-ar2.
The multilingual version with detailed instructions of use is scheduled to be completed by the end of November 2019 and it will also be published via the MTA KIK REAL MS as open access resource.
- Full compilation of books, works and literature about György Lukács along with the manuscripts have been placed in György Lukács’s flat at the disposal of the researchers, however a copy of each and every book is also available at the Library and Information Centre of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
- All the manuscripts of György Lukács can be accessed with open access in digital version at: bit.ly/lu-ar3.
- 4254 pieces of György Lukács’s correspondence have been processed to be reached in digital format with open access at: bnit.ly-lu-ar4
- All correspondence is to be processed in a digital format and is scheduled to be completed by 31 August, 2020.
Please note that all requests related to the György Lukács’s library have been and will be prioritised upon request to the extent of our capacities.
Importance of the preservation of György Lukács’s archive and library is beyond any doubt, and as an important piece of the treasures of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and part of the Hungarian and European heritage it will be duly preserved.
With best regards,