History of the Museum
The cause of founding a museum in Berettyóújfalu was raised by enthusiastic teachers, cultural managers. Due to the enthusiastic work collection and organisation of a local teacher, Dr. Sándor Mihályné the predecessor of the Museum of Bihar, the Folk Museum launched on 20 August 1960 under 7 Bercsényi u. The house served as home of the Folk Museum built in the mid-18th century was restored and equipped with authentic furniture and other articles mostly from Berettyóújfalu and the neighbouring settlements. Unfortunately that project did not last long and the building was demolished in the late 1960s.
Nevertheless, Sándor Mihályné and her fellow teachers did not give up the struggle and continued collecting materials with Erdélyi Gábor. In lack of proper building the most of the collected materials were lost, but luckily in the early 1970s the dream came true and the Museum of Bihar was opened on 17 October 1974 in the former house of the Fényes family located under the 36 Kossuth u. The preparation and installation of the exhibition was led by Dr. Varga Gyula, senior research fellow of the Déri Museum took three months.
The old building of the Museum
In 1993 the Hajdú-Bihar County Organisation of the Museums jointly with the Local Government of Berettyóújfalu established the Foundation for the Museum of Bihar on the basis of Tardy Anna’s legacy. That can be regarded as a milestone in the history of the Museum.
The Bihar group of the Lands-Ages-Museums Association was founded here. The number of the members has increased from 20 to more than 100 today. The Museum couldn’t arrange space for their events in the last few years, but since 2003 the Museum of Bihar has been the seat of the group again.
The current building of the Museum of Bihar, the former town hall
The Museum of Bihar moved to the building of the former town hall located in the centre of Berettyóújfalu in 2001. The first part of its permanent exhibition (units dealing with archaeology and local history) was opened in May 2003. On 14 October 2017, the 30th birthday of the Museum two other halls dedicated to ethnography were opened together with another unit for the history of literature as well as the history of toys completed the permanent exhibition.
The Museum of Bihar was awarded for its visitor friendly programme, cultural role in the region and publications of high quality with the special prize of the Ministry of National and Cultural Heritage in the Museum of the Year award competition of 2004.
The work of the Museum in 2011 was awarded as well with a special prize in the Museum of the Year award competition. On the occasion of the May Day of the Museums held on 19 May 2012, director Kállai Irén received the special prize of the Deputy Secretary of State for Cultural Policy honouring realisation of the modern small-town museum project and the colourful museum education programmes based on age.