The museum’s first literature material is a legacy of JánosGaray, poet (Szekszárd, 1812 – Pest, 1853), which was given to the museum as a present by Gizella Garay in 1917. The first literature exhibition, organised in 1920, consisted of Garay János’s relics and pieces from his library. The Garay-legacy – unlike other collections of the museum – survived the destruction of World War II pretty untouched: lots of the manuscripts, the library and relics of Garay remained in good shape. In 1980, the descendants of Garay gave the manuscripts of Garay’s brother, Garay Alajos (Szekszárd, 1818 – Dunaszekcső, 1886), who also acted as a poet, to the museum. The birthplace of Mihály Babits (Szekszárd, 1883- Budapest, 1941) became a memorial house in 1967. Thanks to the hard working of Lajosné Vendel Mohay, a significant Garay collection was put together in the 1970’s, This was the time, when the literature material became a separate collection , which contains besides the exhibited family memories, relics and furniture, also a remarkable amount of manuscripts, photographs and documents. The mail, photographs and documents about and from the parents and other relatives of the family, enable us to get an insight into the family traditions, which determined the life and art of Mihály Babits. The life and memories of Valéria Dienes, (Szekszárd, 1879 – Budapest, 1978) philosopher, is introduced thanks to the son of the scientist, Gedeon Dienes, as a permanent exhibition in our museum since 2001. The collection was complemented with the legacies of Miklós Mészöly (Szekszárd, 1921-Budapest, 2001) writer and István Baka (Szekszárd, 1948 -Budapest, 2001). The Memorial Room of István Baka was set up in the Babits Mihály Memorial House, with the personal articles, library and gramophone record-collection of the writer. The aims of the House of Literature – Miklós Mészöly Museum (opened in 2005) were not only the introduction of the artist’s career, but also the care of his legacy. The House aims besides the introduction of Tolna County’s literature values, to popularise the contemporary literature and to shake up the literature life by organising book-exhibitions, reading and author-evenings.
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