Bikur Holim- Donation book from Jewish society of Pápa


The 185 years-old book comes to life. Interactive installation made for Museum of Ethnography (Budapest).

This donation book is the main curiosity of the new temporary exhibition in the Museum of Ethnography. Its original function was to collect the names of the caritative people who donated money to the Jewish fellowship. The other remarkable fact is that the book never was exhibited before, so this is the first time when people could dive into the world of the story of Jewish charity organisation.




About the book in a few words:

On every sheet of the book are many small pockets. These pockets contain the name of the donators, which was written with Jewish letters and was organised in the order of the Jewish alphabet. Originally only the promises of members were in this bags on small papers. Because according to a Jewish tradition people can not deal with money and financial tasks Saturday or a feast day. Therefore the donators just put in this papers and when they gave the money for the association they taken out from the bags these papers.

On the exhibition, visitors can realise first just a traditional vitrine with the restaurated book. But while they are getting closer to the installation, it becomes discoverable through the touch screen. It offers new and exciting possibilities in the combination of real and virtual content. This touchscreen allows the visitors literally “touch” the real art piece through a transparent glass. They can select based on their interests and can get more information of the certain parts if they wish. It is possible to scroll between the sheets of the donation book, and take out cards which include many different stories and census data from families through historical periods.   


The inscriptions and pictures from the book are floating above the vitrine when the audience interacts with them and they circulate hereafter.

 This dynamic and exciting view becomes the “welcome-wall” for the audience of the exhibition.  




Concept: Csík-Kovács Zoltán, Hajdu Gáspár, Papp Gábor

Text: Bata Tímea, Szarvas Zsuzsa

Translate: Bányai Viktória, Komoróczy Szonja Ráhel Pápai

Research: Bata Tímea, Gyekiczki András, Jakab Réka

Restorer: Nemes Takách László


Project leader: Ruttkay Zsófia