Szerencs, the small town located in northeast Hungary, at the gate of Hegyalja, has rich historical heritage. During the 16th century, when as a result of the Ottoman wars and the turkish expansion in Europe the country was divided in three parts, the settlement was near the border. Many important events occured here, that had a significant role in he politics of Hungary. Rákóczi Zsigmond, who was the first Prince of Transylvania in the important noble Rákóczi family, built his first fortress here. Between the 17th and 20th April 1605 the parliament was held in the reformed church, where Bocskai István was elected Prince of Hungary. These traditions almost obligated the citizens of Szerencs to found a museum and keep the traditions of these historical events alive. The other reason to establish a museum was the fact, that one of the most famous art collectors of Hungary, dr. Petrikovits László lived in the town, who donated most of his collections, four-hundred thousand postcards, and many ex libris, books, archeological, ethnographic objects, and fine art to Szerencs. After that, in 1967 the museum took up its duties, and since 1972 its called the Zemplén Museum, emphasizing, that the institute also collects and reserches the historical and ethnographic mementos of the hole South Zemplén, not only the ones found in Szerencs. The object collection came to life after the Szerencsi Művelődési Klub (Cultural Club of Szerencs) and the parish council published an appeal to the citizens of the town, in which they ask them to donate suitable documents and objects to the collection of the future museum. This task wasn't easy, because many objects from the past, for ex. the whole furniture of the castle, where the Szirmay family lived, got lost or was destroyed in and after World War Two. On the 12th February 1965 the supervisiory boards were informed, that with the leadership of Angyal Béla the Szerencsi Muzeális Gyűjtemény (Museal Collection of Szerencs) was officially founded, and began to collect objects and documents. Other notable members were Erdei Ferenc, Farkas István, Novákovits István, dr. Petrikovits László and Siska Gábor, who worked with the collection. They were so successful, that in 1967 the first local history exhibition was opened at the same time as the postcard exhibition.
After the Zemplén Museum was established, the collection of objects continued. At the moment four-thousand and seven-hundred objects can be found in the collection, the most of them are ethnographic objects from Szerencs and the surrounding settlements, from Taktaköz and Harangodvidék. We have objects from the Hegyköz in Zemplén, and the museum is also in charge of the material in the local museum of Komlóska. We also keep material about the history of Szerencs, the archeological and numizmatic material is in the storerooms of the Herman Ottó Museum.