The Veterinary Science Library, Szent István University is the only veterinary library open to the public in Hungary. The library is as old as the training of veterinarians itself. Our honored professors have gathered and organized Hungarian and foreign publications in the field of veterinary science from the beginnings. Among those who contributed to the developing of the collection were Sándor Tolnay, Béla Nádaskay who elaborated the classification system and last but not least Gyula Magyary-Kossa, the editor of the catalogue. Thanks to their commitment and that of their successors such as Marek, Zimmermann, Kotlán, the prestigious Historic Book Collection now consists of somewhat 5000 volumes, entirely integrated in the catalogue. It contains rarities from the 16th century, basic veterinary works in German and Latin, manuscripts and naturally the first editions of the works of the most outstanding Hungarian veterinarians. Relics of the history of Hungarian veterinary education are located in our museum in building ‘H’. The exhibition can be visited upon request. The archives are also located in building “H”.
The library was placed in the main building of the Hungarian Royal Veterinary College already in the first years of the 20th century. It was in 1983 that the time has come for the Central Library of the University of Veterinary Science to take possession of the simple, still representative building decorated with Zsolnay-ceramics and designed by the famous architect of the Hungarian Parliament, Imre Steindl, with the exception of the cellars and some smaller rooms. The former pathology museum, later Auditorium has become the main reading room of the library, and is decorated by a wrought iron chandelier, reconstructed after a picture by Zoltán Takács. 100 seats, modern services and altogether 13 computers wait for the readers in this historic atmosphere; 10 computers are located in the computer lab, while the other three are in the periodicals’ section.
The library serves the lecturers, researchers and students of the University. It is also responsible for the information and document provision of veterinarians – let them be private practitioners, or vets in state veterinary service or working in the research or commercial sector – and everybody who requires information or documents related to veterinary science. This is expected from the library being an academic and special library, and a member of the National Document Provision System.