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András Babics (1906–1972)

The second director of TRI was born in Komlósd (Somogy County) on 20 January 1906. He finished  Kispest  Reál High School in 1927, and graduated from Erzsébet University of Pécs, Faculty of Humanities Department of Hungarian and World History with a teacher’s degree (1931) and then with a doctoral degree.

In the spring of 1934 he worked as a trainee at the Erzsébet University of Pécs, Department of History. In 1938 he worked as an unpaid assistant professor. In January 1941 he was appointed a lecturer at the Department of History of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities of the University of Pécs relocated to Cluj.

He was invited by Zoltán Szabó Pál geographer to the Transdanubian Research Institute, to work first as a fellow historian, therefore, he requested his transfer from the Cluj University to Pécs, where he moved back in the summer of 1944. He worked in the Institute until his retirement (1972). After Zoltán Szabó Pál’s death (1965) he became the director of the institute.

From 1930 he regularly wrote studies on the history of the city of Pécs dealing with topics such as chamber administration, awarding royal city rank, the first German settlers in the Turkish rule, etc.

In the years following World War II soon he changed his orientation of studies as instead of studying persons, events and institutional history he was dealing with economic history being a more topical issue at that time. He was trying to reveal first, the past of his narrow environment: the Mecsek region's economic life in order to benefit from the experience. His research in Pécs primarily turned towards mining history, a completely neglected topic.

On the basis of the research results presented in the book ‘The History of Coal Mining in the Zone of Pécs’ published in 1952 he received a PhD degree in history from the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

In 1979, he handed over his personal property, a set of mining research records to the Mining Collection of the City of Pécs. The collection is preserved now as a deposit of Baranya County Archives. For several years he was the editor of the Transdanubian Research Institute’s “Értekezések” (Treatises) series.

As a science organizer he organized several conferences. When he retired he organized a conference series with the assistance of Baranya, Somogy, Tolna and Zala County Councils where every two years the results of not only of history, but also other disciplines were presented relevant to the county. He was a founding member of the History Section of the Scientific Knowledge Society in Baranya County.

In 1982 he was awarded by the commemorative medal of Erik Molnar from the Hungarian Historical Society.