TELETÁR MISKOLC, AVAS
The collection of the Post Museum’s material began in 1881 in a first floor room of the head post office where machinery, equipment and parts were held in store for the telegraph office for the purposes of replacement, exchange or training. From this telegraph storeroom the collection called the Telegraph Museum was created, which later also provided a historic overview. Greater impetus was given to the conscious collection of objects related to postal history by the national exhibition held in 1885, which introduced the country’s agriculture, industry, commerce and transport – and within this postal institution – to the general public. Despite the growing number of holdings, the exhibition on postal history in the first exhibition area for public display, which had a floor space of only 70 m2, was modest while that on telegraph history was far richer. The lessons drawn from this exhibition prompted the enlargement of the museum’s collection. When the post and the telegraph office merged in 1887, some wished to solve the problem of where to house the collection by dispersing it, while others saw the solution in the creation of a joint museum for the merged institutions. Gábor Baross, the minister responsible, accepted the latter proposal and in 1890 instructed that a post and telegraph museum be set up simultaneously with the closure of the Telegraph Museum, thus officially laying the foundations of the Post Museum. The next wave of collecting was inspired by the 1896 millennium exhibition marking the one thousandth anniversary of the Conquest of Hungary. On this occasion the organisers wished to present the historic development of the post, the telegraph and the telephone in a manner befitting the prestigious institution of the Hungarian Royal Post. At the event, the institution appeared in a separate pavilion combining the post, the telegraph and the telephone with great success. The several thousand objects displayed in the exhibition hall with 600 m2 indoors and 200 m2 outdoors were intended to enrich the independent Post Museum. After the exhibition closed, the hall was dismantled and the Post Museum began its wanderings. Some of the objects were on view in the Museum of Transport between 1899 and 1945, while a large part of the collection was placed in postal storage. Between 1945 and 1953 the entire collection which survived the war was mothballed. 1955 was a turning point when the reorganised Post Museum, designated a specialist museum with a national collecting remit, was able open an independent exhibition in the building of the Post Office Headquarters. From here the collection moved to the Saxlehner Palace on Andrássy Avenue in 1970, where it opened in 1972, and from there, after 40 years, it moved to Benczúr House. As regards the museum’s maintainers, Magyar Posta created the Post Museum and maintained it until 1990, when the company split into three (Magyar Posta Vállalat, Magyar Távközlési Vállalat and Magyar Műsorszóró Vállalat). Now, after a 22-year period of joint maintenance, which is relatively brief compared to its long past, it is again Magyar Posta which feels the importance of guaranteeing the future of the museum preserving the memory of the postal profession’s past and this collection forming part of the country’s national heritage by accepting responsibility as the rightful owner.