In the autumn of 2021, museologist Georgina Schlay and historian András Kristóf Kósa-Grimm continued their university history tours on the ELTE BTK campus. A summary by Georgina Schlay follows.
As a former student of the Eötvös Loránd University and as an employee of ELTE University Library and Archives, I like to return to the Trefort Garden. The aim of the university heritage coordination is to provide more publicity for the university collections and cultural heritage of ELTE, so in addition to personal nostalgia, the tours provide an opportunity to draw attention to our university collections through the history of the campus buildings. As the content of the tours is always adapted to the open buildings and halls, as well as to the needs of the visitors, each tour is different, giving the lecturers the opportunity to get to know another slice of the university's past based on the participants' story and point of view.
On the 7th of October 2021, in the frame of the event University opens its doors, Alumni members took part in the tour. The group enthusiastically embarked on a tour that encompasses the university’s nearly 400-year history, but primarily reflects on the history of campus buildings. Since we had arrived at such a time that there was just no lecture in the grand lecture hall of Building B, we gained an insight into the building, which was handed over as the first building on the campus in 1872, and was also visited by Ferenc József. The hall was originally made for the Institute of Chemistry, so Károly Than also took part in its design, providing modern science education based on Western examples. In the middle is the 300-seat grand lecturer, while in the basement of the right wing is the chemical depository. The lecture hall is today the 2nd largest hall of the faculty, while behind the thick security doors of the former depository is the medal collection of the Institute of Archeology. Photos taken at the event can be found on the Alumni Center website.
On the 13rd of October 2021, at the request of Zsuzsanna Varga (ELTE BTK Historical Institute), we presented the campus to historian students and their teachers from Beregszász. During the tour archive photos were presented from the university history photo collection. The special feature of the walk was that we could gain an insight into the Library of the Institute of Slavic and Baltic Philology. The Building D of the campus was originally built for the Institute of Physics with the help of Loránd Eötvös in 1886, instead of the library in the left wing of the central part of the building. At the end of the walk, we rested in the Faculty Council Hall, where guests had the opportunity to take photos. Even that afternoon, the group visited the library palace of the University Library and Archives in Ferenciek tere, guided by Kinga Sutócki.
The tours took place in pleasant autumn weather, in a good mood.