The sound archive, which today comprises some 8000 recordings, was established in 1967. As a supplementary part, the collection of films and video recordings with a literary theme, currently totalling 3000, began increasing in the middle of the 1990s. From the beginning our aim has been to make the stock of the media collection a source material for the contemporary research of literature. The museum was the first to start doing detailed in-depth interviews with writers. Thematic series of interviews represent a part of the collecting activity. Contemporaries recall a poet or writer (e.g. Endre Ady, Attila József, Lajos Kassák, Ágnes Nemes Nagy and Géza Ottlik), major events in history or literary history (e.g. World War II, 1956, the political changes of 1989-1990) or institutions of literature (e.g. writers’ unions, journals, publishers).
The series of interviews with representatives of literature over Hungary’s borders, with writers in Transylvania, Upper Hungary and Voivodina, as well as authors who left Hungary before 1989 yet have returned to Hungarian intellectual life since, represent an important part of the archive. Our work includes recording literary evenings and book launches organised by the PLM, as well as literary events and conferences held by other institutions.
The archive has acquired real curiosities from writers’ bequests. Readings by Mihály Babits, Frigyes Karinthy and Sándor Márai are among our most valuable recordings. The archive’s earliest amateur film recording of Dezső Kosztolányi and his family, with the atmosphere of a slapstick comedy, goes back to the summer of 1929. The recordings of various performances of István Örkény’s plays in Hungary and abroad can be regarded as rare. Today an increasing amount of archive recordings comprises items bequeathed, purchased and donated to the collection. Several series of recordings with literary significance have been received which contain recordings of emigré organisations (collections of Lóránt Czigány, Éva Saáry, Lajos Koncz, Ferenc Mózsi).
With the help of continuous digitization, our aim is not only to preserve recollections and readings, but to publish the most valuable. Therefore, selecting from our archive sound recordings, we have established a CD series of Golden Voices. They present the voices of fifty outstandingly important authors. Our website (pimmedia.hu) presenting some hundred authors is available for all, providing, with its sound-image-text presentation, a new type of opportunity for learning more about contemporary Hungarian writers. Our literary interviews, such as conversations recorded with Miklós Szentkuthy, Győző Határ and László Lator, are published in book format and CD. The DVD Occident Movie of archive films, including recordings of Mihály Babits, Frigyes Karinthy, Dezső Kosztolányi and Zsigmond Móricz in the inter-war period, has also appeared.
The films, videos and lately digital recordings represent permanent parts of the museum’s exhibitions and events. Our own recordings are uploaded with the help of the services of videotorium.hu and are on the Museum’s website.
Contact: E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, Telefon: + 36 1 317 3611 / 224