Magda Czigány was herself a Hungarian refugee student. She obtained a degree then a postgraduate Diploma in Librarianship at London University. She worked in the Library of University College London, taught history of art there and at the University of California, Berkeley. In 1986 she was appointed Director of Library Services at Imperial College. On her retirement in 2000, the College conferred an Honorary Fellowship on her in recognition of her achievements. She has published books and papers in both English and Hungarian.