László Zsámboki

Article

July 5, 2022

László Zsámboki (Kunszentmiklós, 1935 – Miskolc, January 25, 2012) is a librarian, director general of the Central Library of the University of Miskolc, creator and manager of the Selmec Monument Library.

His work

László Zsámboki obtained a law degree in 1959 and a librarianship degree in 1965. In 1956, he took part in the revolutionary events in the capital (at the Hungarian Radio and the Parliament) and was slightly wounded. He then worked as a mason, carpenter and house painter. For two years from 1959, he was a research assistant at the Central Library of the Heavy Industry Technical University, then in 1961 he became the secretary and head of the office of the dean of the Faculty of Smelting Engineering. In 1969, when the new library building was handed over, he returned to the library as a senior scientific associate. During his work in the dean's office, he got to know the famous professors of the faculty and the university, who recalled the past of Selmec, and as a result, he became interested in the history of the Selmec Academy. The greatest influence on his work was Professor Zoltán Gyulay, who himself took care of and researched Selmec's past and its memories. When the universities of Sopron and Miskolc agreed on the sharing of the Selmec library stored in Sopron, László Zsámboki took care of the material transferred to Miskolc, and the layout of the Selmec Museum Library in the exhibition hall of the new library building bears the imprint of his hand. He processed the library's material with scientific thoroughness, and published his summary work on it (The Selmeci Monument Library) in 1976. The book was also published in German in 1978 (Die Schemnitzer Gedenkbibliothek von Miskolc in Ungarn). During the processing of the museum library, his interest also extended to the processing of university history, which was indicated by his numerous published studies on university history, history of science and library history. In 1982, he initiated the creation of an archive at the university and, to this end, the most important documents of the Selmec Academy brought to Miskolc. The University Archives was created within the framework of the Central Library, and its first director was László Zsámboki. After that, the archival collection was gradually expanded with documents of the university's units older than five years, and the legacies of former professors were also included. For this reason, the Department of Special Collections was established in 1963, which included the university's historical collection. As a result, he advocated the establishment of the University Museum, which was finally realized in 1986. As a result of his work in this field, in 1985, on the 250th anniversary of mining and smelting engineering training, he published a new, valuable work, the book From Selmec to Miskolc 1735–1985. In the 1980s, he started a series of studies dealing with the history of Hungarian mining, and also processed the history of the National Hungarian Mining and Metallurgical Association. From 1996, he became the general director of the institution named Library, Archive, Museum, and held this function until 2005. In 2002, he concluded a joint agreement with the participation of several Hungarian, Slovak and Austrian higher education institutions, which was created to jointly appreciate the common past of the actual and spiritual heirs of the Selmecbánya Academy. In the meantime, he researched and published the biographies of the old, renowned professors from Selmec, started and edited the series Bulletins from the History of Mineral Raw Materials in Hungary and The Classics of Mining, Metallurgy and Geology. He continued his research activities even after his retirement - as the titular general director of the library. His work was accompanied by numerous awards: in 1986 he received the Ervin Szabó Memorial Medal, in 2003 he received the National Hungarian Miner