Special Collections Reading Rooms

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In accordance with the Government Decree 279/2020 (VI. 13.), the National Széchényi Library's special collections, the Manuscript Collection, the Early Printed Books, the Theatre History and Music Collection, the Map, Poster and Small Print Collection and the Historical Photo and Video Collection will be open to readers again from June 15, 2021, in compliance with the epidemiological regulations established due to the coronavirus infection.

The special collections are open to readers from Tuesday to Friday from 10 am to 5 pm, just like the reading rooms of the General Collection and the Library Science Library.

On arrival, you must use the non-contact hand sanitiser and undergo a temperature check at the cloakroom. A protective distance of at least 1.5 metres between people is mandatory throughout the building. In accordance with epidemiological regulations, due to the need to maintain an appropriate social distance, the special collection reading rooms can accommodate a total of 26 readers/researchers at the same time.

Changes to the use of readers' public spaces to comply with epidemiological rules:

  • Research in the reading rooms of the special collections is only available to our readers by prior reservation. Please make your reservation at least 24 hours in advance of your visit, if possible. If you are unable to come despite your reservation, please let us know so that we can make the space available to someone else.
  • To reserve a place in the shared reading room of the Manuscript Collection, the Early Printed Books and the map collection of the Map, Poster and Small Print Collection (9 reading seats), please send an e-mail to manuscriptum@oszk.hu or regikonyv@oszk.hu or terkep@oszk.hu;
  • in the reading room of the Theatre History and Music Collection (10 reading seats + 1 seat for working exclusively with card catalogues in the catalogue area), please send an e-mail szinhaz@oszk.hu or zene@oszk.hu;
  • if you would like to research in the poster collection reading room of the Map, Poster and Small Print Collection (6 reading seats), please send an e-mail to plakat@oszk.hu.
  • Requests and reservations from readers of the Historical Photo and Video Collection (4 reader seats) are welcome at fenykeptar@oszk.hu or interjutar@oszk.hu until 12 am the day before their planned visit. On arrival, colleagues in the general reading room will help you to enter the research room (Chapel Hall).
  • We respond to all booking requests, but we can only process out-of-hours emails on the next opening day, so we kindly ask for your patience and understanding. Please include your telephone number in your e-mail enquiry, if possible, so that our staff can contact you more easily if necessary.
  • Use of shared computers is not possible due to epidemiological regulations.
  • We also accept requests for document preparation at the above e-mail addresses – until 12 am on the day before your planned visit.
  • Compared to previous rules, the number of documents requested at the same time is limited; please always consult the member of staff at the Reading Service.
  • Information on manuscript documents and other information can be obtained by calling (+36-1) 224-3890, (+36-1) 224-3830, (+36-1) 224-3729, (+36-1) 487-8656,
  • for information on the documents in the Early Printed Books, call (+36-1) 224-3700/776,
  • for information on documents in the map collection of the Map, Poster and Small Print Collection, call (+36 1) 224-3700/353,
  • for information on theatre history documents in the Theatre History and Music Collection, call (+36-1) 224 3780,
  • information on music collection documents in the of the Theatre History and Music Library and other information, call (+36-1) 224 3778,
  • for information on documents in the poster collection of the Map, Poster and Small Print Collection, call (+36-1) 487-8623,
  • for information about the photos in the Historical Photo and Video Collection, please call (+36-1) 487 8613.
  • The historical interviews of the Historical Photo and Video Collection is available at interjutar@oszk.hu, and further information can be obtained by calling (+36-1) 224-3710.
  • Documents in the special collections can still only be searched with a Reader Pass valid for at least six months, while the Day Pass only entitles you to use the catalogues and open shelves.
  • Library registration is open from Tuesday to Friday until 16.30. Monthly, half-year and annual readers do not have to return their plastic bags when they leave, these will be replaced when they are worn out.
  • We will continue to reserve books from the repositories, but in order to minimise physical contact, there will be no exchange of books between readers.
  • Books and documents pre-ordered from the special collections or used in the reading room from the open shelves will be quarantined for 72 hours, during which time we will not be able to distribute them for the protection of our readers.
  • Books removed from the open shelf after use should be placed in the designated area to ensure their separation.
  • In the interests of increased security, we are temporarily suspending the use of the Readers' Professional Workstations and all other devices, so please bring your own electronic device (laptop, tablet) if possible. Wifi is available to our readers in the public areas of the library.
  • In order to minimise physical contact, requests for document copying can be fulfilled in-house with a time limit depending on the quantity of the request, and sent electronically or by post. Payment of the service fee can be made by bank transfer or cash on delivery. Please contact the repository staff to discuss the deadlines for document copying requests.