July 23, 2005
Its importance resides in being one of the richest collections of old books in Romania, among them, valuable manuscripts, 52 incunabulae, Priceps editions, first editions, and books from reputed Transylvanian and foreign editors of the 16th and 17th centuries, like Aldo Manuzio, Giunta, Estienne, Plantin, Elzevir, Giambattista Bodoni, Frobenius, Honter, Heltai Gaspar. The main topics are especially those of humanities, bringing together the most important books since Gutenberg.
The most valuable manuscript is the one of Koncz, during the first half of the 14th century, which is the Bible in Latin, on 433 pergament sheets. The notes on its borders are considered to be the sixth monument of Hungarian language. The library also owns the 1688 edition of the Bible of Bucharest (the first Romanian translation of the Bible), among many other books edited between the 17th and the 19th century in Moldova and Valahia (today’s Eastern and Southern Romania). The library keeps also an original copy of the American Declaration of Independence.
At the present time the Teleki Library has a collection of more than 200000 books, as several other libraries have been added to the original collection, especially after the nationalisation by the state in 1948.
The most important library that has landed at the Teleki Library is the Bolyai Library with 80,000 books. It is the library of the two most important mathematicians, Janos Bolyai and Farkas Balyai, that has formerly belonged to the Reformed College, opened 1557 under the name of Schola Paricula and closed during the recent communist rule.
The Teleki Library is recommended to all interested in the history of books, but also to those who like to see some nice bindings or some hand-painted books, or simply to get to know some great facts on history or art history. Opening times for visitors are Tuesdays to Fridays 10-18 and on week-ends between 10 and 13. There is no entrance fee, but donations, however small, are welcome.
From journal Târgu Mureş