Széchényi, Ferenc

Count Ferenc Széchényi (Széplak, 29th April 1754 – Vienna, 13th December 1820), Sheriff of Somogy County, Royal Chamberlain, Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece, royal envoy and commissioner, father of István Széchenyi. On 25th November 1802 he offered his collection of 13724 printed documents (9039 books, 4342 small prints, and 343 pages) to the Hungarian nation. In 1819, he completed this with his collection of thousands of maps, carvings and crests, and over 9000 books. He also assembled the catalogue of the library, had it printed at his own expense, and sent a copy to foreign kings, institutes of science, and several Hungarian and foreign scientists. 25th of November 1802 is considered the founding date of the National Széchényi Library.

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