Memorial Website of Ignaz Goldziher
“He acquired fame, respectability and credit for Hungarian scholarship”
Goldziher’s relationship with the Hungarian Academy of Sciences began at a very young age, and proceeded along a reasonably balanced and smooth path. In 1876 he became Corresponding Member, in 1892 Ordinary Member, and in 1905 he was elected President of Section I. In 1911 he became member of the Board of Directors. In the International Association of Academies, he represented the Academy, and was often delegated to international congresses.
From 1869, he regularly published in the Academic Transactions, which also carried texts of his lectures at the Academy’s meetings, as well as his official and technical reports. Some of his studies, and later his book reviews, appeared in the Budapest Review, a journal under the aegis of the Academy, and the Academy also published his works in Hungarian. He took an active part in academic meetings and other programs, sometimes he acted as the president.
He had close connections with the Library of the Academy. On his study trip to Cairo in 1874, he helped to expand the holdings of the library by purchasing important books. He wrote the first report on the Hebrew manuscripts and books in the David Kaufmann Collection, and one could always count on his expertise when cataloguing books in Semitic languages.
In August 1919, the rising tide of antisemitism reached the groves of Academe. As a reaction to the speech of one of his fellow members at the justificatory plenary session he resigned from office as President of Session I, as he felt compelled to take upon himself the antisemitic attack against his co-religionists.
When Goldziher died, his funeral bier was placed in the portico of the Academy, and the Secretary General eulogized the scholar who “earned international recognition in several divisions of learning with more than five decades of valuable, serious, and quiet scientific work”. The funeral procession started from there to accompany him on his final journey.
The Academy invited Sir Aurel Stein to deliver the memorial speech. Stein, an external member of the Academy, was an archaeologist-explorer who achieved remarkable success in studying the Silk Road and had had close friendly contacts with Goldziher since childhood. This obituary was not written, but Stein did arrange that the collection of Goldziher’s handwritten notes and correspondence donated to the Academy be supplemented with copies of the letters by Theodor Nöldeke (1836–1930), deposited at Tübingen.
To accommodate the bequest, the Academy opened a Goldziher-room on the 8th of October 1933. Since 2012 the complete correspondence has been made accessible through the Library’s online catalogue in digital format, not only for experts but for the public at large.
The correspondence of Theodor Nöldeke and Ignaz Goldziher who exchanged several hundred letters with each other.
Entire text in REAL-MS repository
The correspondence of Ignaz Goldziher has been available in a digitised form since 2012 in the online catalogue of the Library of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
Catalogue of the letters
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