Slovak National Library

The Slovak National Library (Slovenská Národná knižnica ) is the National Library of Slovakia.

The library is a relatively new library, which was only founded in 1941. Home is in Martin Slovenská in the Matica, the Slovak Cultural Institute.


The roots of origin already go back to Emperor Franz Joseph. The October Diploma promised to all peoples of the Austro -Hungarian monarchy to the same rights. However, the Hungarians were able to prevent extensive rights of Slovaks, so that the Emperor only approved the establishment of three high schools and the Matica Slovenská in 1863. This independent association in Martin sought a collection of books and documents concerning the Slovak culture. In addition to important scientists of the club also had a broad membership base throughout Slovakia.

The basis of the library formed the collections of the state employees Hamuliak Martin (1789-1859) and the theologian Michal Rešetka. Hamuliak donated his collection already with regard to the club in high school in Banská Bystrica. According to the dedication deed his collection included 1,046 titles. While many of the books had reference to Slovakia, but have not written in Slovak. Also books of ancient literature were present. The Library of Rešetka, who also died before the foundation of the club, came over to the Bishop of Nitra in the hands of the Association.

The first place to keep the collections was the official residence of the bishop Štefan Moyzes (1797-1869), the first chairman of Matica Slovenská, in Banská Bystrica.

The National Library had numerous donors, the books of the collection also featured in their initial time. These were not only Slovaks, but also other Slavic institutions and individuals, among them Tsar Alexander II.

After the death of Bishop Moyzes the collection was transferred to Martin and housed in its own building and made ​​publicly accessible.

In 1875 the capacity of the association was limited by the Hungarian Ministry of the Interior. Finally, the club was completely dissolved as anti- patriotic. At this time, approximately 10,000 prints and 20,000 were duplicates in the collection. They were still kept in the original building and taken to the Komitatsmuseum in Nitra until 1902. The largest of the collection remained in Nitra, only small parts came in the Széchenyi National Library in Budapest. Later studies showed that about 28 % of the stock had Slovak respect and were written both in Slovak and Hungarian or German language.

In 1890 the club museum and library founded ( Muzeum a Biblioteka ) to the work of the banned Matica Slovenská continue. Thus, the collections could not be confiscated by the Hungarian authorities, they have been transferred in accordance with the statutes in the possession of the club members. In 1896, the stock of Slovak Museum Society ( Muzealna Slovenská spoločnosť ) was passed in Martin. This company also worked as a club and was initiated by the Catholic priest, archaeologist and botanist Andrei KMET.

Both in the period up to the First World War and in 1921, when Slovakia was part of the newly formed Czechoslovakia Instead, extended numerous donor ongoing collections through inheritances and gifts. 1910 included the collection of approximately 60,000 volumes.

By moving into a new building with a large warehouse in 1927, a faster increase of the collections was possible. After the reopening of the Matica Slovenská in 1919, the club decided his collections back to the Matica left. Came only in the 1940s also back stocks of the Hungarian National Library.

Regardless of Matica Slovenská there were in the 1930s already thinking to build a national library. In 1941, there were actually establishing. This library was also performed as a club and had their location also in Martin, which thus had two scientific libraries. Effective immediately, the new National Library was given the usual deposit copies, but had no space to deal with this collection. As soon as a move to Bratislava at the Comenius University in Bratislava was considered.

When the Communists in the postwar period, the Matica Slovenská was undesirable and merged, in order not to go down in 1953 with the National Library. The following year, everything was nationalized with the function of a bibliographic - library institution. It was the center for the entire library system of Slovakia. After the liberalization of many monasteries and churches were large stocks of libraries at the National Library. Also aristocratic libraries were added.

The mid 1970s moved to the National Library to a new building, where it is still located. When moving large stocks yet been cataloged, which were not previously recognized.

Since 1993, confiscated stocks are returned due to various restitution laws back to their original owners.