Béla Varjas established (1959) and edited until his death (1985) the series titled Bibliotheca Hungarica Antiqua, which issues 16–17th-century hungarica printings in facsimile editions, with studies of scientific standards that introduce the publication and the author, sometimes with German and English summaries, too. The editor of the series has been Péter Kőszeghy since 1986. Although the primary aim of the journal is to publish works that are especially significant from literary historical and bibliographic aspects and are often available in only one sample, and to make them available for scientific research, these bibliophile publications often arouse public interest, too. As for the future, the Institute plans to issue one or two books a year. The first 12 volumes were edited by Béla Varjas. 44 volumes have been published until 2014. The co-publisher of the series has been the National Széchenyi Library since 2000, and the Library of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences since 2014.
The series titled Bibliotheca Scriptorum Medii Recentisque Aevorum (BSMRA) was edited by Antal Pirnát until his death in 1992, then it was taken over by Klára Pajorin. The editors of the series now are Enikő Békés and László Szörényi. It was founded by László Juhász (1930) who published nearly 40 volumes and booklets until 1946. Following a break of three decades, the series was revitalized by the Renaissance and Baroque Research Group with the title Series Nova. The primary aim of the BSMRA is to publish the memories of Latin-language literature having Hungarian relations or written in Hungary in the Middle Ages and the Early Modern Age, and make these available for scientific research. The definition of the period covers the centuries between the start of Hungarian literacy and the middle of the 18th century, but – on the basis of one-off judgement and decision – the editors may accept later texts (written before 1844 when Latin ceased to be official language in Hungary) that are organic parts of Latin literacy in Hungary instead of treating it as a closed tradition. “In Hungary” in this case means works that were written in historical Hungary (the HungarianKingdom and its attached parts, later the areas under Ottoman rule and Transylvania) or written elsewhere by authors originating from here. The category “having Hungarian relations” may include works which have a significant reception in Hungary for some reason (proved by copies, publications) or were originally written to Hungarian order; or the only or best manuscript of which can be found in a public collection in Hungary; finally all works which are important from the aspects of international Neo-Latin philology and the author of which is in connection with Hungarian scientific life and wishes to publish the writing within the frameworks of the series. Availability provided for “scientific research” means critical edition – so the series may include all those Latin-language works that are significant from historical (and especially literary historical) aspects, and that have had earlier but not critical editions or it is important to amend their former critical editions because of the appearance of a new, important text source. The introductions and notes of the volumes are written in Latin or in a modern foreign language. Several further works are under preparation, for example the edition of Andreas Dudith’s correspondence (7 volumes) in cooperation with the Polish Academy of Sciences, and the critical edition of Janus Pannonius’s complete works.
The original aim of the series Bibliotheca Unitariorum is to republish the facsimile editions of those printings that are of outstanding significance from the aspects of the history of ideas and that were born in the sign of Antitrinitarism in the 16th and 17th centuries and only have one sample left in libraries in Hungary or other European countries. The series is published by the Fundation Bibliotheca Unitariorum, which operates in Amsterdam and is headed by Jan van Goudoever. The work is led by a committee of international experts (International Advisory Council). The series was edited by Róbert Dán until his death, then his work was taken over by Tibor Fabinyi and later Mihály Balázs. The preface of the re-edition of Defensio Francisci Davidis, originally published in 1582, was written by Mihály Balázs, while that of De falsa et vera unius dei… cognitione, originally issued in 1568, by Antal Pirnát. Nowadays, even important Unitarian manuscripts are published in the series; its latest volume contains Jacobus Paleologus’s work titled Disputatio Scholastica. This volume was redacted by Juliusz Domański and Lech Szczucki. The most recent project of the series is the publication of the manuscript of János Kénesi Tőzsér and István Uzoni Fosztó’s Historia ecclesiastica unitaria, which was redacted by János Káldos. We are also making good progress with the works of the 3rd volume which concentrates on the Antitrinitarists of the turn of the 16th and 17th centuries.
Bibliotheca Dissidentium Répertoire des Non-Conformistes Religieux des Seizième et Dix-Septième Siècles: The research group (GRENEP) led by professor Marc Lienhard at the Protestant university of Strasbourg issues the series which publishes bibliographies on 16–17th-century personalities who are considered non-conformist from religious aspects, that is do not belong to any of the big churches accepted throughout Europe. Following Tibor Klaniczay’s initiative, Hungarian researchers of the heterodox tendencies also joined the work in 1984. Mihály Balázs is the Hungarian desk officer of the enterprise and he also redacts the volumes that deal with local personalities. So far two Hungarian volumes have been issued under the title Ungarländische Antitrinitarier I–II., which covers the works of the less known figures of early Antitrinitarism (Tamás Arany, István Basilius, István Császmai, Lukács Egri, Elias Gczmidele). The second volume, which was completely dedicated to György Enyedy, was compiled by János Káldos and published in 1993.
Humanism and Reformation (Humanizmus és Reformáció): Following the organization of Renaissance research and the establishment of the Renaissance Research Section, the need emerged to have a forum for publishing the monographs and dissertations on the questions of Renaissance, Humanism and Reformation in Hungary. This is how the series was launched in 1973 with Tibor Klaniczay as editor. The thematics of its volumes are as diverse as possible, although subjects of the history of ideas and culture are dominant with a special regard to the trends of Reformation and the heresies arising in its wake. The posthumous synthetic work on the story of 16th-century Hungarian Protestantism, written by the great historiographer of Hungarian Reformation, Jenő Zoványi, was also published in the series. In the annexes of the certain volumes, many important source texts are published, too, with summaries in English, French, German or Italian. The volumes on literary and science history are representative items of the series: Antal Pirnát’s work on Bálint Balassi’s poetics or Tibor Klaniczay’s path-breaking synthesis that is left unfinished: The Prehistory of the Hungarian Academic Movement (A magyarországi akadémiai mozgalom). The editor-in-chief of the series at present is József Jankovics.
The aim of the series Studia Humanitatis is to publish those results of Hungarian Renaissance research that may arouse international interest, in a language which is available to universal science. As for the genres, the volumes are not homogeneous: there are individual monographs, study collections written collectively, conference volumes, catalogues. The series was edited by Tibor Klaniczay until his death, then his work was taken over by József Jankovics.
The Collection of Old Hungarian Poets (Régi Magyar Költők Tára), which is currently issued in three series, is an enterprise with a long history. Ferenc Toldy prepared the publication of all the memories of old Hungarian poetry as early as in the middle of the 19th century. When he died, his work was continued by Áron Szilády and then Lajos Dézsi, and 9 volumes were published between 1877 and 1930: one with the poems of the Middle Ages, eight with the poems of the 16th century. Then the works on the series were interrupted for a long time; in 1959 the idea of continuing it was even taken off the agenda, and the right conditions to restart the work were only created in the 1980s. The aim of the series 16th Century (XVI. Század) is to publish the Hungarian-language poetry of the 16th century as completely as possible. Raised out from the series, the critical edition of Bálint Balassi’s works is issued separately. In the series titled 17th Century (XVII. Század) 16 thick volumes were published between 1959 and 1999; these contain the poetic memories of the century in timely order and thematic groups (love and wedding poetry, Sabbatarian and Catholic religious songs etc.). The complete poems of certain significant authors (Albert Szenczi Molnár, János Szentmártoni Bodó, Péter Beniczky and others) are published in separate volumes. The editor of the series used to be Béla Stoll; since Stoll’s retirement it has been József Jankovics. The series 18th Century (XVIII. Század) was established by Ferenc Bíró who edited it together with Attila Debreczeni since 2003. Current editors are: Attila Debreczeni, Márton Szilágyi and from the Institute István Csörsz Rumen. Besides publishing volumes of oeuvres (Ferenc Kazinczy, István Totth, László Amade, László Ungvárnémeti Tóth, Gábor Dayka, János Földi, Gedeon Ráday etc.), it is among the tasks of the series to issue certain outstanding works (József Péczeli: Henriás) and the repertoire of public poetry that can not be linked to any authors.
Old Hungarian Dramatic Memories (Régi Magyar Drámai Emlékek - XVIII.század). Continuous acting in Hungary was only going on in schools for two and a half centuries. This educated and entertained the audience, formed the drama writers, directors and actors, prepared profane Hungarian-language acting starting at the end of the 18th century. However, so far we have only known a fragment of the memories of scholastic acting. This is why following the two 17th-century volumes of the Old Hungarian Dramatic Memories it is so important to make Hungarian-language scholastic dramas available. The founding editors of the series are Imre Varga† and István Kilián.
The series titled The Sources of Hungarian Literary History Writing (A Magyar Irodalomtörténet-írás Forrásai – Fontes ad Historiam Litterariam Hungariae Spectantes), in which more than 13 volumes have come out so far, issues the unpublished or not easily available sources of Hungarian literary history writing in volumes that nearly satisfy the requirements of a critical edition, with professional notes and explanations. Its original editor was Sándor Somogyi, then Dezső Tóth, and later Sándor Lukácsy, from whom the task was taken over by Péter Dávidházi in 1989.
The aim of the series Literary Historical Library (Irodalomtörténeti Könyvtár) is to publish big monographs on various questions of Hungarian literary history. The first ten volumes of the series, which was launched in 1957, were edited by István Sőtér, then the volumes 11-28. were edited by an editorial committee (Miklós Béládi, Károly Horváth, Tibor Klaniczay, Miklós Szabolcsi) headed by Sőtér. In 1972, the Institute handed the series over to the Committee of Literary Studies of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, which commissioned Mihály Czine with the edition. Since his death (1999), this position has not been filled.
The series titled Booklets of Literary History (Irodalomtörténeti Füzetek), published since 1955, gives scope for the publication of rather short – not longer than 15 sheet-long – monographic works that deal with the history of Hungarian literature, the lives or certain periods of the lives of its outstanding authors, the reception of Hungarian literature abroad, sometimes the reception of foreign literature in Hungary, problems of the history and study of poetry, questions of Hungarian history of ideas, press and culture. Besides this thematic scope, the series – especially in the beginnings – allowed the publication of several philological studies and document compilations. The editor of the series was István Fenyő until 2012 while the position has been filled by Gergely Fórizs since 2013.
The series Our Contemporaries (Kortársaink), which was launched by Miklós Béládi, senior colleague of the Institute, and Béla Juhász, associate professor at the University of Debrecen, aimed at processing the oeuvres of contemporary Hungarian writers in a popular monographic form. The aim was somewhat difficult to reach as sometimes even external aspects motivated the choice of subject for the monographs. During the years, the volumes of the series have contributed to establish the methods of modern literary analysis in Hungary. After Miklós Béládi’s death, the series was edited by László Rónay, then by Zoltán Hafner since 2008.
The series New Hungarian Museum (Új Magyar Múzeum) was launched in 1956; its work was initially directed by an editorial committee, then the position of the series editor was filled by András Diószegi and Kálmán Vargha, later by András Diószegi and László Illés. From the 12th volume onwards, László Illés was the only series editor. The series wished to issue 20th-century documents – primarily manuscripts and secondarily materials published in the press (writers’ documents, manuscript fragments or variants, diaries, correspondences, memoires, critical manifestations) – that were not easily available, and make them available to the researchers in unfragmented forms and with wide sets of notes.
The series Literature – Socialism (Irodalom – Szocializmus) was issued between 1958 and 1990; edited by István Király and Miklós Szabolcsi until 1973, then by László Illés and Farkas József. Its aim was to publish pre-1945 literary sources that had socialist thematics and were not easily available, and to publish literary historical and theoretical-aesthetical studies exploring this research area.
The aim of the series called Controlled Literature (Irányított Irodalom) is to explore the exciting and less known happenings of the literary and cultural life of the period from 1945 to 1990, most of all by publishing documents and interviews, but it also gives scope to volumes containing severely documented interpretations. So far three volumes could be issued.
The aim of the series Res Publica Nostra (edited by Endre Bojtár) is to publish the most recent scientific results from the fields of Central and Eastern European comparative literary studies.