Museum announces addition of Hungarian Collection to research library


Hungarian Archive Committee members and library Director Elizabeth Rose recently celebrated the dedication of The Robert D. Kranyik Hungarian Collection at the Fairfield Museum and History Center. Shown, from left, are Joseph Balogh, Claudia Balogh, Karolina Szabo, Steve Jakab, Elizabeth Rose, Bill Stansfield, Peter Penczer and Ralph Szur.

The Fairfield Museum and History Center has announced the addition of the newly dedicated Robert D. Kranyik Hungarian Collection to its library, the result of a two-year project lead by a volunteer Hungarian Archive committee.

Featuring documents, artifacts and photos representing Hungarian life in the area, the Hungarian Collection is the first created at the museum that focuses on a specific ethnic group.

“The Robert D. Kranyik Hungarian Collection is a first of its kind, and part of an on-going effort to represent all factions of our multicultural community,” said Mike Jehle, the museum’s executive director. “Its addition also further strengthens our research library as a multifaceted resource for Museum visitors.”

The Fairfield Museum and History Center’s Research and Special Collections Library and archives contain more than 30,000 items on the history of Fairfield and Fairfield County from 1639 to the present, including family documents, photographs, maps, newspapers, church books, land records, historic objects and artwork. Access to the library is free for museum members and $5 for non-members.

Kranyik, a Fairfield resident, was the driving force behind the creation of the Hungarian Collection. When he passed away suddenly during the project, it was decided by organizers that it should bear his name. Fairfield Museum and History Center Library Director Elizabeth Rose aided the project, which was spearheaded by committee members Claudia and Joseph Balogh, Steve Jakab, Peter Penczer, Frank Polke, John Santa, Karolina Szabo, Jack Sazepessy, Bill Stansfield, Ralph Szur and Joseph Ull.

The collection was dedicated during the Oct. 20 memorial celebration of the Hungarian Revolution and Freedom Fight of 1956, an annual event that this year included a wreath laying at the memorial plaque and a commemorative program. Bela Liptak, who participated in the drafting of the 16 Points, which defined the goals of the Hungarian Revolution in 1956, spoke at the event. The commemoration was organized by Magyar Studies of America and the Pannonia American-Hungarian Club.

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