Special Collections

The Collection of Dr. Tibor Horváth

Dr. Tibor Horváth (1910-1972), archaeologist, orientalist, and art historian, was director of Hopp Museum from 1948 to 1972. From 1939 he worked in the museum as an apprentice. Due to his remarkable publications that appeared between 1934 and 1940, his name was established as an authority on archaeology, which contributed to his winning a research fellowship in Japan for one year in 1941. On account of World War II, however, he could manage to return to his home country six years later only, in 1948. Even under the difficult circumstances and hardship experienced in Japan, he continued his studies: learnt Japanese and beside archaeology, he also dealt with various fields of Japanese culture and art. Upon his return, in July 1948, he was appointed head of department at Hopp Museum, then, he took over its direction after the retirement of Zoltán Felvinczi Takács and remained in this position until his death. From 1957 he also performed the duties of deputy director at the Museum of Applied Arts. At Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE) he taught archaeology of the Migration Period, as well as art of the Far East and India. His main achievement as director of the Hopp Museum is that he has laid the foundations of modern museology by appointing curators familiar with the language and culture of the given areas of collection. Due to the travelling exhibitions organised together with his colleagues also to his lectures given in the capital and in the countryside, he made the museum one of the most important agents in Hungarian cultural life.

Dr. Tibor Horváth left to the Hopp Ferenc Museum his library consisting of more than eight hundred pieces collected in Japan in severe hardship. This collection, formed between 1941 and 1948, covers every fields of Japanese archaeology, art, and applied arts, and contains Buddhist and historical works, artistic and biographical lexicons, and contemporary exhibition catalogues. This set of books reflects very well the pre-World War II Japanese scholarly methods and approach, which adds to its significance. The majority of the books are written in Japanese, thus they can help getting familiar with the contemporary Japanese scholarly terminology. Some of the volumes are considered exceptional rarities even in Japan.


Tibor Horváth Reading Room

On the occasion of commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of Dr. Tibor Horváth’s death, the renewed reading room of Hopp Museum took up the name of its former director on 31 March 2022.

Out of respect toward Dr Tibor Horváth, it was the generous donation by Kató Lányiné Szegő that made possible the restoration of the Moon Gate in the museum’s garden, also the digitisation of library collections, as well as the creation of a new image of the library.


Donations by Dr. Katalin Ferber

Being familiar with the profile of our library, Dr. Katalin Ferber and his husband, Dr. Noya Hiroshi, donated a significant ensemble of books to the Hopp Ferenc Library of Asiatic Arts.

Dr. Katalin Ferber (1952-), economist, historian of economy and finances, researcher of Japanese economy and society, lived in Japan (mainly in Tokyo) from 1993 to 2010. Lecturer at multiple universities in Japan, last time that of the International Faculty of Waseda University. Dr. Noya Hiroshi (1933-), theoretical physicist, professor of the Hosei University (Tokyo) until his retirement, professor emeritus, on the occasion of his 80. birthday, was awarded a Japanese imperial decoration for his research activities.

The couple’s donation contains several rare pieces. Most of the volumes can be used (also) as primary sources written in Japanese, all of which offers a great way to learn and practice Japanese language with their special (pre-1945) vocabulary and technical use of expressions. Two series within the donation can be highlighted, which, as far as we can tell, are only available in our library: the books registering the history of finance and public finance of the Meiji (1868-1912) and Shōwa (1926-1989) periods (the former consists of 16, the latter of 21 volumes) are invaluable documents of the nineteenth and twentieth century Japanese financial politics. Some pieces of Dr. Noya Hiroshi’s professional collection are also to be found in our library, which can help translators dealing with this period. The collection contains several volumes on art history translated from Western languages to Japanese, as well as albums of fine arts.

The donation of the couple has increased the library’s collections with 475 volumes.

Bequest of Péter Kós

Péter Kós (born Leó Raáb, later Leó Konduktorov), diplomat, ambassador of Hungary in India (1967-1973) and Japan (1967-1983) owned a considerable number of books written in Hindi and Japanese. Earlier, he edited a Hungarian-Hindi dictionary in manuscript form, while he was also an expert on modern Japanese economy.

His bequest arrived at Hopp Museum with the mediation of his son, Mihály Kós. The works can be divided in two great sections: Japanese and Indian. The donation of books present the cultural values of Japan and India, while another part covers the philology, history, dictionaries, and most important literary works of Japanese, Hindi, and other Indian languages. Also contains books dealing with the social and economic structures that provide background for art history research. From museum educational point of view, the visually fascinating collection of Indian children’s literature is also an important addition to our library. Nowadays most of these books are not available either in Hungary, or in the territory of the given country, many count as rare books even.

This book bequest has enlarged the library’s collections with 180 volumes.