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Petőfi Literary Museum (Petőfi Irodalmi Múzeum)

National Network: 
Károlyi u. 16.
1053 Budapest
Telephone (other): 
Organisation Type: 
Public Institution
Year of Establishment: 
General Information: 

The Petőfi Literary Museum (PLM) was founded in 1954, as the legal successor of the Petőfi House, protector of the Petőfi legacy. Today it is a national museum of literature, an exhibition and research centre with one of the biggest and most versatile literary and art collections in the country. Its headquarters and a number of branch institutions – specialised literary and theatre museums – are in Budapest, other branches in the countryside. PLM is the co-ordinator of the Association of Hungarian Literary Memorial Houses reaching over borders to neighbouring countries.
PLM is a public cultural institution - with a staff of around 200 people - partly financed by the Ministry of Human Resources, partly from (project-based) funds raised through national/international funding organizations often in the framework of partnerships. The annual budget in 2015 and 2016 amounted to approx.. 1 billion HUF with 80% of this sum coming from the Ministry.

Mission and Objectives: 

PLM collects, preserves and exhibits cultural heritage, to enrich cultural life and to promote literature and the value of reading on an individual level and in the society to generations of audiences as a means to comprehend and be able to connect to the world around us and to understand one another and each other’s experiences better.

The PLM undertakes/aims to
- process and preserve the inherited collections under modern conditions.
- collect materials of museum value from contemporary Hungarian literature such as writers’ and poets’ legacies, correspondence, libraries, sound and video recordings, photographs, furniture, personal belongings, the documents of the editorial offices of literary periodicals etc. as a basis of conscious, scholarly-founded, ideology-free expansion of the collections.
- play an active role in scientific life both on a national and international level, to foster and support scientific research in literature and (literary) museology and support individual researchers as well as research labs or scientific institutions. We make use of the intellectual value of our collections, catalogues and databanks in critical editions, philological and textological research. Our museologists participate in university education as lecturers, and our volumes of essays and studies appear in the technical literature of cultural research and literary museology.
- present its various collections through exhibitions and online to the widest possible audience. Since its establishment, PLM has organised almost 500 exhibitions and issued more than 300 scholarly and popularising publications and exhibition catalogues.
- offer learning opportunities and well as quality cultural programmes to the widest possible audience and invigorate local (and national) cultural life. The PLM – with its branch institutions - organizes 600-700 events annually for people of all ages, professions and interests. Around 40% of the PLM’s programming is based on partnerships with a variety of institutions from university departments to foreign cultural institutes, publishers or various civil society organizations.
- promote Hungarian literature, encourage reading, support various literary initiatives through partnerships, grants, scholarships and other support programmes.
- work together with all levels of the education system and provide valuable learning experiences to students of all ages in PLM’s buildings and in classrooms.
- promote Hungarian literature internationally through the Hungarian Books and Translations Office providing grants for publishers and translators of Hungarian literary works.

Main Projects / Activities: 

preservation and acquisition/reception of complex authorial, literary legacies, professional processing, restoration and storage, digitization, critical editions, philological and textological research.
departments: Manuscript Archive, Library, Art and Relics Collection, Audiovisual Library and the Digital Literary Academy

Exhibiting and knowledge transfer, promoting reading, programmes, meeting place
exhibitions and accompanying (scholarly and public) events that promote dialogue, facilitate learning, open up different ways of interpretation and popularize reading while also serve as a meeting place for a growing community of readers
target audience: people of all ages, abilities, professions or economic status
geographical scope: Budapest, the countryside in branch institutions and through the Association of Hungarian Literary Memorial Houses

Hungarian literature abroad
translations facilitated and supported by the Hungarian Books and Translations Office

Residencies, fellowships, mentoring, volunteering
supporting writers, translators, researchers through various programmes, offering ways for scholars and literature enthusiasts of all ages to engage with PLM’s work

International projects
(among others)
Europeana Project /supported by the European Commission
Visegrad Literary Residency Programme /supported by the International Visegrad Fund
Literary Europe Live /New Voices from Europe /supported by the European Commission

How can you contribute to the Network in your country?: 

The Petőfi Literary Museum is a nationwide organization with 12.000-13.000 people visiting its headquarters and branch institutions each year. The PLM identifies with the values of the Anna Lindh Foundation, it is and has been for decades a promoter and facilitator of mutual understanding. We can bring a diverse and broad audience under the network’s umbrella as well as an active circle of educators and professionals committed to diversity and intercultural dialogue. We believe that the PLM’s cultural activities make local/Hungarian audiences more open and curious to other people’s experiences and more sensitive to issues of injustice and prejudice. We hope that our activities and efforts so far prove the PLM valuable for the Hungarian network.

Why do you want to join the ALF Network?: 

Being part of the Hungarian Anna Lindh Foundation network would allow us to connect with partner institutions and to find allies in working for a peaceful and culturally rich society in Hungary and hopefully would help us find new partners in the Euro-Mediterranean region.
The PLM is engaged in several partnerships already and is keen on finding novel ways to collaborate in interpreting culture and heritage in the broadest possible sense and in bringing value to as many people as possible through literature and the arts.