October 6, 2011 "Synagogues in Hungary 1782-1918" Is Subject of Book Talk on Oct. 24
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Architectural historian Rudolf Klein will discuss his new book, “Synagogues in Hungary 1782-1918” at noon on Monday, Oct. 24 in the European Division, Room LJ-250 of the Thomas Jefferson Building at 10 First Street S.E., Washington, D.C. The event, which is sponsored jointly by the European Division and the Hebrew Language Table, is free and open to the public; tickets are not required but seating is limited.
The focus of Klein’s book is the synagogues of Hapsburg Hungary and their transformation from 1782 through World War I. While the book is primarily architectural, it illuminates how synagogues served as vehicles for conveying values, identity and dreams that were at the core of Jewish existence in the Diaspora. The author deconstructs the traditional idea of synagogue style and introduces a matrix of formal and functional elements that constitute a synagogue.
Klein is a professor of modern architectural history at Szent Istvan University in Budapest. From 1996-2006, he was a professor of architectural history at Israel’s Tel Aviv University. The author of many books on Jewish architecture, Klein has focused on the diverse cultural heritage of the Jews of Hungary.
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The Library’s European collections are among the finest in the world. The Library of Congress collections from or pertaining to Europe began with the acquisition of Thomas Jefferson’s personal library in 1815, which contained representative works of European culture in many subjects. The European collections have grown in size and scope and are especially strong in history, literature and the social sciences. The French, German and Russian collections comprise an estimated 3.5 million volumes. European materials are found in the Library’s general collections, and in the specialized collections, such as those of the Geography and Map Division; the Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division; the Music Division; the European Law Division and the Rare Book and Special Collections Division. The European Division has custody of one of these special collections—some 35,000 uncataloged Russian books and periodicals in all fields, dating primarily from 1880 to 1945. For more information go to www.loc.gov/rr/european/.