The inauguration of the “Ady Endre” Memorial Museum took place on May 26, 1955. The creation of this museum in Oradea is justified by the poet’s close links with to the city. The four years of journalistic activity have proved decisive in shaping his personality. “Oradea and Nagyváradi Napló (Oradean Journal) was the zenith of my life and energies,” stated the poet himself in an article published on October 3, 1912.
The poet was attached to Oradea through his sincere and lasting friendships, through his muse, Léda, and through the innovative literary movement A Holnap (Tomorrow).
Oradea has always been at the forefront of the movement aiming to promote the personality of the great Hungarian poet. Immediately after the poet’s death, in February 1919, the first Ady society was established in Oradea, with the purposes to collect and preserve documents and relics relating to the poet.
In 1942, the city bought from Rozsnyay Kálmán the famous Ady collection, with the purpose of arranging a memorial museum. because of the war, the accomplishment of this wish was postponed, and the collection, kept in the City Hall building, suffered serious losses.
The legal basis for the establishment of the “Ady Endre” Memorial Museum was created through the decision of the Oradea regional popular council, in January 1955. Meanwhile, through the Decision of the Ministry of Culture, the collection from Zalău, donated in 1935 by the mother of the poet was transferred to Oradea from the Gymnasium from Zalău.
These two collections were the basis of the heritage of the memorial museum. In his organization, Tabéry Géza, one of Ady’s former friends played an important role.
The museum is housed in the building of the former “Müller” cafe, especially popular at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century. The original construction, completed in 1869 in the market in front of the headquarters of Bihor Prefecture, took its present form during the reconstruction of 1895. This cosy building with terrace, was a favorite place of the young Ady, not only to spend but, according to of the weather, to work. According to tradition, in the summer season, in the right corner of the terrace was his table, on which he wrote many of his reports and articles.
In the current exhibition, the focus is on the presentation of Ady’s life and activity in Oradea, the exhibited material presents mainly the work of a publicist and within the literary movement “A Holnap”.
The exhibition is supplemented with essential data regarding the other moments of his life and career, spent at Meceniu, Carei, Zalău, Debrecen and also Paris, Budapest, Ciucea.
The new basic exhibition of the museum reconstructs, in the two side rooms, the atmosphere of the newsrooms and cafes of those times. Our approach is also justified by the fact that during this period the current building of the museum fulfilled the function of cafe.
The Memorial Museum tries to highlight the cultural and social, cosmopolitan and dynamic environment of Oradia, where Ady lived, worked, loved and suffered.
The Ady Endre Memorial Museum holds the following collections:
The collection of volumes that contains different editions of Ady’s poetic, publicity and prose works, both during the poet’s life and after his death. The most valuable copies are princeps editions, some of which bear the dedication of the author. This collection also includes volumes of translations of Ady’s work in various languages, which have appeared over the years. Also here is the vast reference bibliography on the life and activity of the poet (biographies, studies, comments, etc.). The vision of the poet’s personality is complemented by a rich collection of press articles (over a thousand) collected over 90 years.
The collection of documents consists of various prints (programs, invitations, etc.) that attest to the interest and gratitude of posterity towards Ady Endre’s personality, the reception of the ideological message of his work in successive historical periods, materialized by evocative cultural-literary manifestations, literary evenings, symposia, poetry recitations, artistic shows, setting up a memorial museum, inaugurating the statue of Ady, giving its name to schools or streets.
The collection of manuscripts includes Ady’s letters, postcards addressed to personalities close to the poet, signed articles and poems, other manuscripts from members of the literary society “A Halnap” and close friends of the poet. Included in this collection is the extensive correspondence of the members of the Ady family, as well as that carried between various researchers of his work.
The collection of periodicals. In the patrimony of the museum there are many literary magazines that appeared throughout the twentieth century. These include the almost complete collection of the magazine “Nyugat” (“The West”), which was created between 1908-1937 and is considered the most important Hungarian literary magazine of the last century. Ady was a contributor from the beginning, then the editor of the magazine until his death (1908-1919). We also mention other magazines, including: “Jövendő” (1903), “Igaz Szó” (1958-1974), “Korunk” (1957-1974), “Utunk” (1965-1966, 1971-1974), “Familia” (1971-1974) etc.
The photo collection contains photographs of the poet from different periods of his life, of the members of the Ady family, of the teachers of the young Ady. Here are also the photographs of editorial colleagues and friends of the poet. Other photographs immortalize places, buildings related to the life and activity of the poet or testimonies of posterity’s recognition of his personality: statues, commemorative plaques, etc.
There is also a valuable collection of old photographs from the second half of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century.