In 1952, it was recognized as the American Hungarian Studies Program which in 1955 became a foundation and in 1970 changed its name to the American Hungarian Foundation.
The New Brunswick, New Jersey institution was home to a community of Hungarians who endeavored to buy a building which houses a museum, library and archives. The building is 10,000 square feet. The museum inside rotates its exhibits and plans to show what people have donated through their generosity. Gergely gave a short slide presentation of the facilities after his verbal recounting. He mentioned that in 1930 one-third of Hungarians in New Jersey lived in New Brunswick. With a large population of this kind, it was easier to sustain the physical facility, whereas today, with demographic changes and a large percentage of Hungarians living outside the New Brunswick area, this becomes more difficult.
Due to these changes, the museum is looking to incorporate new methods to sustain it. One of its priorities is technology. By a well-created and functioning web-site they wish to broaden their scope and reach non-Hungarians in the areas of interest and financial support. They also foresee a possibility of employing part-time staff. They are working on a Succession Plan.
It was enlightening to learn of the history of this foundation, which predates the CHHS by 33 years. The parallels between our institutions can be seen as we both look towards our future.
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