10-year-old Kállay Collection

(A short abstract of the Hungarian original work)



Dr. Kristóf Kállay, Ambassador of the Diplomatic Committee of the Order of Malta for the Holy See and President of the Hungarian Assocciation of the Order of Malta decided to donate his private collection in Rome and valuable museum pieces of books, orders and insignia, engravings, certificates entrusted to him, to his birthplace Nyíregyháza. He collected, payed for and saved the lost items of Hungarian culture in Western Europe.

The collection was accepted by the president of the city coucil in 1989, then the new mayor of the city accepted it in November 1990.

The first transports arrived in the Jósa András Museum on 27th April 1989, which was followed by other transports on 2nd November 1990, on 21st February and 29th September 1992.



Circa. 6 thousand books, publications and journals stored in circa 60 boxes and crates in the already crowded rooms of the museum depository. A unique and valuable collection of orders and insignia of 135 pieces already got together by 1992. Kristóf Kállay sent a signed copper engraving by Munkácsy, a box of family documents, a díszmagyar clothing (Hungarian national clothing established in the 19th century, worn on festive occasions, which represented the patriotic feelings of the wearer) and clothes of an English diplomat from the beginning of the 20th century.

The general assembly of the city of Nyíregyháza passed its resolution of 212/1992 (IX. 21.) which located temporarily the donations of Kristóf Kállay as a special collection of the Jósa András Museum in a 166-square-meter flat in the Nyírvíz Castle. At the same time Zoltán Mádi, mayor of Nyíregyháza and Dr. Péter Németh, director of the Museums of Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg county agreed that the general assembly should give money for the costs of public utility annually and for the necessary devices and furnitures. The Directorate of Museums of Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg county undertook to transport and place the items of the collection and other donations arriving in the future, to give money for the costs of operation and for the salary of professionals and assistants.

The Kállay Collection was officially opened by dr. Kristóf Kállay, museum founder, Zoltán Mádi, mayor of Nyíregyháza and Dr. Péter Németh, director of the Museums of Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg county in the flat on the 2nd Floor 7, 1 Széchenyi Street on 10th March 1993.



First 10 years in a nutshell

The director of the Kállay Collection is Dr. Sarolta Lakatos, chief museologist, whose main task is to make inventories and to familiarize the treasures of the collection among historians, museologists, etc. She gave lectures on the Kállay family, the Kállay Collection itself and the items of phaleristics of the collection in conferences and meetings of historians in Hungary and beyond, such as in Nagybánya (Baia Mare, Romania) or in Ungvár (Uzhhorod, Ukraine). Her 48 articles had been published so far in scientific journals and newspapers of Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg county.

Three times during the first ten years particular items of the collection were exhibited in the following museums beyond Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg county: Miklós Kállay's personal objects and insignia in the National Museum of Hungary in 1994; Baron Gábor Apor's Bulgarian insigngia in the Jannus Pannonius Museum of Pécs in 1997; and 29 beautiful orders in the Helikon Castlemuseum of Keszthely in 1999.

Development line of the exhibition in the Kállay Collection:

1994: number of the items in the section of the orders and insignia and in the Kállay family's memory wall grew, a memory corner for the Sovereign Order of Malta was installed



1995: Ferenc Ilosvay's memory exhibition was installed

1997: the Kállay family's memory wall and the memory corner for the Sovereign Order of Malta were entirely renewed, and 7 new show-cases were set up with the help of our sponsors, in which treasures of phaleristics were exhibitied.





The Collection's development is extraordinary, though made the problem of lack of space. For today there is not enough space in its depository and there is no free space for exhibiting the newly arrived items.

History lessons are regularly taken place in the Kállay Collection, annually 8-10 mainly secondary school classes take part in them. Clubs for retired people, teaching staff or the Hungarian-English Club of Nyíregyháza take place some of their meetings in the Kállay Collection.

Johanna von Ilosvay gave 3600 students of Szabolcs county copies of her husband's following three books: Megfordul a szél (The wind shifts), Tizenkét ösvény(Twelve Paths), Tenyérnyi tisztás (Small clearing).



The support of Lászlóné Csabai, mayor of Nyíregyháza is very important in the development of the Kállay Collection. She revealed a nice bronze public name plate in 2002, which shows the presence of the Kállay Collection in the Nyírvíz Castle.


Miklós Kállay stands in front of his great-grandfather's photography, 1997 






IN ASPERIS ET PROSPERIS – says the family's motto. There were both difficulties and prosperity in the family's history, but faith and patriotism granted their survival in any kinds of situation. This strenghts, this preservance handed down from father to son should be passed on and must be shown to the future generations through the Kállay Collection as well.


 (Dr. Sarolt a Lakatos)



Kállay Gyűjtemény

4400 Nyíregyháza
Széchenyi u. 1. II/8.


+36 42-310-566


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