The BOLYAI LIBRARY is the collection of the former Protestant College (the present Bolyai Farkas Secondary School). The Protestant primary school of the town, the Schola Particula, was established in 1557. The first record of its books was made up in 1653, but the school probably had a book collection before that.
In 1718, the Schola Particula was united with the Protestant College, which was forced to move from Sárospatak and stayed in Gyulafehérvár for more than four decades, with its own collection of books. After the unification, the National Assembly declared the Marosvásárhely school a college. During the 18th century, the librarians, collecting from European book fairs, mainly purchased books in Latin necessary for teaching and learning. Donations also played an important role: students studying abroad were expected to bring back books worth at least a gold coin. That’s why there are so many Dutch and German prints in the library. Donations also played an important role; several teachers and local intellectuals – e.g. mathematician Farkas Bolyai, Elek Dósa, Professor of Law, physician István Mátyus - presented their personal collections to the library. Until 1872, when the University of Cluj (Kolozsvár) was founded, the profile of the collection was mostly determined by the fact that the College trained teachers, clergymen and lawyers. After the establishment of the university, the new acquisitions of the Bolyai library were mainly fiction or concerned with history and natural sciences. This trend gave birth to an interesting and diverse collection including historical documents relating to the history of the library, scientific works, lecture notes, works of the students, incunabula, old almanacs, university theses, school reports, mourning cards, periodicals, leaflets and funeral orations.