Our colleague, Dr. Szilvia Bánfi received József Szinnyei Award

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In honor of her outstanding performance carried out in the field of library science, Dr. Szilvia Bánfi-Szilágyi, research fellow of National Széchényi Library was given József Szinnyei Award on the occasion of Hungarian National Day August 20. The awarding ceremony took place in Pesti Vigadó.

Dr. Szilvia Bánfi-Szilágyi has been working for National Széchényi Library since 1976. Her career as a librarian started at the Management Department, between 1982 and 1983 she worked at the Reader Service and from 1984, she continued work at the Archive of Banned Publications. As of 1996, she served as head of the Contemporary History Special Collection and later as head of the Video Collection. Since 2001, Dr. Szilvia Bánfi-Szilágyi has been working at the Editorial Department for the Bibliography of Early Hungarian Prints (or as it is called today, the Department of Research in Book History and the History of Culture).

During the approximately 40 years of service in Hungary’s national library, Dr. Szilvia Bánfi-Szilágyi carried out an outstanding professional work. At the Management Department, she got an overall view of the structure and tasks of the national library. In the years spent in the Special Collections, she had a variety of assignments from stock acquiring via stock processing to reader service. At the university she was majoring in history and library science and, as early as that, she showed great interest in research into the history of printing led by Gedeon Borsa. Szilvia Bánfi-Szilágyi earned a Ph.D. on this subject in 1988 by compiling the repertory of Gál Huszár’s press kit. She has continued her research work ever since and is regarded as the number one specialist in this field. Dr. Szilvia Bánfi-Szilágyi is a co-author of the venture called Hungaria typographica, the second volume of which, related to the 17th century, was published in 2014. She initiated and continues to care for Clavis website on the history of printing.

At the same time, she has carried out successful research in 20th-century book history, she publishes her writings regularly, keeps delivering lectures both in Hungary and in the international arena. To mention just one example, Dr. Szilvia Bánfi-Szilágyi delivered a lecture entitled Books Captivated by the State Defense Authorities in Jyväskylä, Finland, at the 5th International Hungarological Congress held in 2001. Recently, she organized a chamber exhibition in NSZL, on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the Holocaust. Entitled The Book is Indestructible, the exhibition commemorated József Fitz who, under those rather difficult conditions, was director of the Hungarian national library.

Szilvia Bánfi is an even-tempered, cheerful person who well deserves being popular among her fellow librarians. The period of nearly forty years she has spent working for Hungary’s national library is surely a service of model value and an exemplary path of life for a librarian.

On behalf of NSZL’s entire staff, we congratulate to Dr. Szilvia Bánfi-Szilágyi!