An exhibition of facsimiles created from original manuscript items in the Antal Vállas and Family Papers is now on display in the Reading Room at Hill Memorial Library.
Antal Vállas was born on May 18, 1809 in Pest, Hungary, the present-day city of Budapest. Throughout his teaching and professional career in Hungary, Vállas published several works on mathematics and geography. After the Hungarian Revolution of 1848 and the Habsburgs subsequently regaining power in 1850, Vállas was fired from his teaching post at the Royal University of Pest and decided to leave the country. After a brief stint in Nicaragua, he moved his family to New Orleans. In 1859, he became the first professor elected to the Louisiana State Seminary of Learning in order to teach mathematics and natural philosophy. When Superintendent William T. Sherman resigned in 1861, Vállas briefly took over the position. After leaving his teaching position in 1863, Vállas worked as an Episcopalian minister in New Orleans. He died on July 20, 1869. Vállas’ descendents remained in New Orleans.
The collection consists of correspondence, printed items, personal papers and photographs related to the personal and professional life of Vállas and his descendents. It contains items in English, Hungarian, German, Latin, French and Spanish. One of the major themes within the collection is the continued contact between the Vállas family and their relatives in Hungary.
Image from collection: Postcard from family member living in Banska Bystrica, Czechoslovakia.