Éva Gábor


It has long been due to publish in POLANYIANA the Guide to the Papers of Michael Polanyi, which was written in 1977 and revised in 1996 by John M. Cash of the Joseph Regenstein Library. The Michael Polanyi Papers in the Department of Special Collections at the University of Chicago's Joseph Regenstein Library are the world's richest and best organized Polanyi collection.[1]

Ever since its formation The Michael Polanyi Liberal Philosophical Association was working hard on bringing to Hungary the copies of the Chicago collection, which finally happened in 1994. The aim of bringing the copies to Hungary was twofold: firstly, the Association would like to make the Papers of Michael Polanyi available for Hungarian and European researchers, and secondly, by housing the Collection in Budapest, to start establishing a Central-European Polanyi Archive and Research Centre. In this process, the Association has received much help from various sources.

A very special role was played in bringing the Polanyi Collection to Hungary by two key persons, Endre Nagy and the late Gabriella Ujlaki, founding members of the Association, who studied the Polanyi Papers in Chicago and suggested that they should be microfilmed.

Then, in 1994, the Soros Foundation purchased the 46 microfilms and had them transported to Budapest. We owe a debt to the Soros Foundation for its generosity. We owe a debt, too, to the leadership of the Library of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, especially to deputy director Mrs. Lujza Domsa, for raising the necessary funds of 350, 000 forints and thus contributing to having the microfilms transported to Hungary. Now, the Polanyi microfilm collection, which is the exact copy of the Michael Polanyi Papers of the University of Chicago Library, is housed in the Microfilm Archive at the Library of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

The Michael Polanyi Liberal Philosophical Association feel it to be their responsibility to promote scholarly research on Michael Polanyi. With the consent of the leadership of the Library of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and the Microfilm Archive, the Association prepared the research manual for the microfilm collection. According to this manual, on behalf of the Board of the Michael Polanyi Liberal Philosophical Association, it is the duty of the president to see to if the rules stated in the research manual are observed. The Association gives support to all Polanyi researchers who observe these rules and gives them free access to the collection.

The Guide to the Papers of Michael Polanyi by John M. Cash was published in the latest issue (Vol. XXIII, No.1. 1996-97) of Traditition & Discovery, the periodical of the American Polanyi Society. POLANYIANA thanks Traditition & Discovery for their permission to re-publish it. We hope that the Guide will help Polanyi researchers in Hungary and Europe.

It is a future plan of the Michael Polanyi Liberal Philosophical Association to prepare the catalogue of the papers Michael Polanyi wrote in Hungarian.

1. In Hungary, thanks to the efforts of Erzsébet Vezér, there is a remarkable collection of Polanyi Papers in the Manuscript Archive of the National Széchényi Library. Information on this collection is to be given in a later issue of POLANYIANA.

Polanyiana Volume 5, Number 2, 1996, p. 66



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