BME OMIKK was founded on 1 July 2001 by the fusion of two libraries, BME’s Central Library and the National Technical Information Centre and Library.
History of BME’s Central Library
The Central Library of the Technical University of Budapest has a history of 150 years. On 9 May 1848 Baron József Eötvös, Minister of Religion and Public Education donated a book in five volumes to one of BME’s predecessors, the Joseph Polytechnics. This date is regarded the foundation date of the library, which was the only technology and natural sciences reference library in Hungary until the 1930s.
In 1909 it moved to the currently used building designed by the university’s professor of architecture Samu Pecz.
Initially the library was run by university professors. The first full-time director was appointed in 1936. In the early years the library served only professors. It was opened to the students in 1869. From 1884 it was opened to the general public with the rector’s permission.
During the Second World War 5-6% of the library’s collection, comprising the most valuable items, was destroyed or lost, and the building was also damaged. Despite these problems the library resumed normal operations in September 1945.
In 1952 an open shelf section was created, primarily for volumes of literary fiction and popular science. In the mid-1950s the library started to set up its special collection.
The library was the centre of the university’s library network and the country’s main reference library in mathematics and physics.
History of the National Technical Information Centre and Library (OMIKK)
On 24 July 1883 Ágoston Trefort opened the Technological Museum of Industry with the aim of establishing collections and operating a reference library. Following several fusions, the name of the institution was changed to National Technical Library in 1952, then to the National Technical Information Centre and Library (OMIKK) in 1982. The statutes of OMIKK were issued by the National Committee for Technological Development (OMFB) in 1994. OMIKK was classified as a national reference library by Act CXL of 1997. OMIKK’s deed of foundation was issued by the Minister of Economic Affairs in 1999.
The detailed history of the BME OMIKK library is presented in an electronic publication entitled „A legnagyobb hazai műszaki könyvtár története” (History of Hungary’s largest technical library) written by a former colleague of ours.