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With his activities in art collection and patronage, Jenő Gerlőtei played an important role in the first phase of the University of Debrecen's history. He was a private lecturer at the French Institute and a literary historian. His seminars and publications as well as the notes written about him testify to his deep artistic interest. His surviving correspondence proves his endeavours as a patron. We also encounter appraisals of fine art exhibitions and artists' biographies in his oeuvre. Unfortunately, we know very little about his life, we have hardly any available sources on him, and even the date of his death cannot be found among the Hungarian databases and the University of Debrecen's documents.