The American Hungarian Library and Historical Society is a 501C(3) not‐for profit, membership organization formed in 1955. We are located on the premises of the Hungarian House, in Yorkville, the traditional Hungarian neighborhood of the city. The New York Hungarian Library is the hub of literary, cultural and social life for the tri-state’s Hungarian-American community, organizing numerous meet-the author events and book launches with award-winning, bestseller writers; academic lectures with leading historians and scientists; film presentations; concerts and other cultural events.
The Library’s joint collaboration with Columbia University’s East Central European Center kicked off in spring 2014 with two world-class events: a riveting reading by László Krasznahorkai, and the new book launch of I Kiss Your Hands Many Times by prize-winning journalist Marianne Szegedy-Maszák (You can now view the full lecture, in English, on our website). In summer, an eight-week film festival presented nine classics from Hungarian cinema of the past 40 years with subtitles. All these programs were held in English, alternating between the two institutions’ locations, thus expanding our geographic and demographic reach for non-Hungarian speakers as well.
The Library places special emphasis on offering a meeting place and programming to non-English speakers interested in all things Hungarian. Twice annually, we also offer an 10-week Hungarian language course taught by native speakers.
The 6,000 volume book collection is overseen by a professional librarian and is available for reading and lending during library hours on Saturdays Noon to 4 pm, or by appointment. The collection is constantly expanding and in addition to our books on history and reference materials, contains current bestseller Hungarian literature, fiction from Hungarian-American authors in English, and Hungarian-related books in the English language. We also offer a books-by-mail service.
You may browse all current and past event information here, on our website, or on our Facebook page and group.
Celebrating our 60th Anniversary in 2015
The Library just completed replacing our flooring with hardwood and will continue renovating and updating its space in the upcoming year, including creating a child‐friendly environment, among other. Ongoing cataloguing and making the collection’s titles available on the Internet through the Library Thing facility will also continue. As a volunteer organization, providing library services and offering the high quality cultural programming members expect is dependent on membership dues and the generous donations of our supporters.
Come visit us, volunteer, and lend your support to a rare institution in New York so that our historic, significant bastion of Hungarian culture can continue to flourish.