Primatial Library of Gran (Esztergom, Komárom-Esztergom, Hungary)
Since 1001 Gran (see Esztergom) has been the seat of an archbishop, who is at the same time a prince and primate of Hungary. When the great Anabaptist persecution set in under Maria Theresa in 1757, which ended in a complete liquidation of Anabaptist groups, all their books of instruction or dogma, as well as their private and public correspondence were confiscated (Beck). On 8 November 1578 an order was issued that all suspicious books were to be taken from the brethren in Sobotište and presented to the authorities for investigation. A similar order was given 14 December 1759 to the Pressburg Komitat: a careful search was to be made among the Anabaptists in Gross-Schützen. The confiscated books were not returned to their owners. On 9 April 1760 the government was informed that the orders had been followed and the books and writings taken from the leaders. In the same year a directive was issued to baptize all infants according to Catholic rites; committees were sent out to convert the Anabaptists. With some they succeeded; most of them accepted the Catholic forms, but remained true to their convictions. These conversions mark the beginning of the end of Anabaptism in Hungary; in contrast to former times, the conversions were now to be accomplished by gentle means. Details are found in the court records, some of which Joseph Beck has published in the appendix to the Geschichts-Bücher. The reports state that many books were successfully hidden by the Hutterites before the coming of the officers. One of these books was, of course, the official Geschicht-Buch.
Most of the confiscated books were put into the Primatial library in Gran, some to the Domkapitel library in Pressburg, some to the Protestant Lyzeal library there, and a relatively large number to the university library in Budapest. The manuscripts in the Primatial library are listed by Beck in his summary of the sources from which he compiled his Geschichts-Bücher. Since his edition is no longer to be found in bookstores, the most important of the manuscripts will be listed here with signatures. The following manuscripts contain exclusively matter in the Geschichts-Bücher.
A further list of manuscripts has a mixed content:
From the above it is clear that in spite of Beck's meritorious work a new systematic research of the archives and of the bishopric of Gran according to the sources is necessary to the history of the Anabaptists.
Beck, Josef. Die Geschichts-Bücher der Wiedertäufer in Oesterreich-Ungarn. Vienna, 1883; reprinted Nieuwkoop: De Graaf, 1967: 578 ff.
Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe; Schneider, 1913-1967: II, 156.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, pp. 563-564. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Loserth, Johann. "Primatial Library of Gran (Esztergom, Komárom-Esztergom, Hungary)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1957. Web. 18 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/primatial_library_of_gran_esztergom_komarom.
APA style: Loserth, Johann. (1957). Primatial Library of Gran (Esztergom, Komárom-Esztergom, Hungary). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 18 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/primatial_library_of_gran_esztergom_komarom.