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The World's greatest Munkácsy collection
Branch of History

Before 1950, the relics of historic character were placed in two collections which do not exist anymore: the relics of famous personalities were preserved in a collection of relics and all the other objects were preserved in a collection of antiquities. Due to this practice, before 1950, concerning the collection of historic objects, no uniform approach can be spoken of. In spite of that, already at the beginning of the century, valuable relics were acquired by the museum. From among them, by their character of local history, the guild documents and seals delivered up by the Craftsmen’s Association stand pre-eminent. The collection of relics was also started: the widow of Sándor Erkel, son of Ferenc Erkel and Damjanich Jánosné (Mrs.) donated some of their husbands’ relics to the museum in 1900 and in 1902, respectively (the wreath ribbon of Sándor Erkel, his medals, his diplomas of merit, some of his articles of personal use; the portray of János Damjanich, his signature with his seal and his occasional table). Following the breakout of the First World War, the enrichment of the collection considerably declined. The only genuine result, i.e. the establishment of a new collection of the relics of the First World War, was due to the professional activity of Lajos Rell. We are only sorry to state that none of that collection is available any longer.

In 1962, for the first time in the history of the museum, when the museum was handed over to being maintained by the county, a historian museologist was employed. As a result of a development of more than fifteen years, the museologists working in the museum were organized to form a department in 1980.  Subsequently, the enrichment of the museum was revived. At present, more than 40,100 documents and 4,800 relics are kept in the collection. The major part of the collection comes from Békéscsaba and surroundings. The most precious possessions of the collection are, of course, the manuscripts of outstanding historic documentary value of which only 2 to 3 copies are known. The 16th Omazta patent of nobility and the right of holding fairs and the pasture isolation and manumission compensation contract of Békéscsaba from the 2nd half of the 19th century are of great value. The manuscript maps from the 18th to 19th centuries can also be included in these precious documents, as well as the archival photos displaying gone by aspects of many a settlement, the mood of long-lost ages, events and people who lived long ago. In addition to the individual documents, the ones produced by process of reproduction are also valuable: posters of local edition, newspapers, postcards, etc. The collection of flags of purely objective character consists of more than 60 pieces. The most valuable flags are the ones, painted or embroidered, club or corporate, from the first half of the 20th century.

The historian museologists of the museum are: Emil Bogyirka (1962-1964), István G. Vass (1965-1980), László Böor (1967-1969), Lajos Köteles (1969-1971), László Dér (1969-1980), László Réti R. (1970-1971), Imre Czeglédi (1975-1991), Csobai Lászlóné (Mrs.) (1978-), János Gombos (1980-1983), Ferenc Szabó (1980-1996), József Borsi (1984-1987), Árpád Krupa (1984-1986), János Kocsor (1988-), Mátyás Mazán (1990-2000).

Directorate of Békés County Museums
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