The American Hungarian Library and Historical Society was founded in 1955 by an esteemed group of leaders of the Hungarian emigration, including John Pelenyi, Alexander St. Ivanyi, Baron Francis Neuman de Vegvary,
Tibor Eckhardt, and Otto Hámos amongst others.
Originally, the founders established the Society with the aim to be a home for Hungarian culture in the free world and to further interest in and knowledge of Hungarian art, history and science and their contribution to the United States.
The Feleky Collection formed the nucleus of the collection of the Society. Charles Feleky, who died in 1930, was an internationally renowned music director at the Martin Beck Theater on Broadway at the time, now called Al Hirschfield Theatre. His main wish was to foster better cultural relations between America and Hungary. His collection contained more than six thousand books amongst which there were 200 rare books dating back to the sixteenth century.
In addition, the Society amassed various archives and private documents from its founders in addition to an extensive art collection, most currently housed at the Museum of the American Hungarian Foundation in New Brunswick, NJ.
"World of Tomorrow" (A holnap világa), New York World Fair, 1939. Source: Fortepan