Digitisation in the National Széchényi Library

Káldos János – Moldován István

Chairman, Ladies and gentlemen,

The digitisation started in the autumn of 2001 in the National Széchényi Library and by this timebecame a significant activity. In the last five years increased the number of appropriate hardware and software. Lots of department has flatbed scanners, 6 MPixels digital cameras, and in the Reprography Department works a Zeutschel book scanner (OS 10000 with 600 dpi resolution). Works in our library a huge storage server with 7 TB too. Librarians and specialist learnt usage of equipments so evolved the digitisation practice. Digital objects (principaly images) and sounds produced in the following departments [+]: Collection of Microfilms and Photographs; Reference and Readers' Services; Hungarian Electronic Library; Collection of Graphics and Small Prints; Collection of Early Books; Collection of Theatre History; Map Collection; Music Collection; Fragmenta Codicum, Research Group of Old Bibliographic Relics; Document Supply Services; Libinfo (The Online Information Service of Hungarian Libraries).

In these years some European and domestic (Hungarian) projects gave us a hand with digitization. For example [+]: UNESCO; MINERVA Europe; MINERVA Plus; Ministry of Cultural Heritage; Ministry of Informatics and Communications. Some governmental and non-governmental organization sponsored digitisation activity of our library (for example: National Information Infrastructure Development Program; Council of Hungarian Internet Providers). As a result of above and thanks to several Hungarian, international projects, sponsors and the common everyday work the number of digital objects (images, sounds) are about one million.

[+] You can see in the slide a table with document types and approximate numbers of digital master files.

Type / Master image
Rare Books / 60000
Manuscripts / 30000
Maps / 1500
Music manuscripts (Erkel) / 80000
Historical newspaper / 400000
Graphics and small prints / 5000
Free Europe Radio (1956) / 300000

Lot of digital images, lot of digital objects, lot of questions. Who and how processes it? Who and how preserves it? Who and how serves it? At last: why?

In the first part of my presentation I try answer to the quastion: Who?

In the last yearsestablished the twomost important local organization units forthe digitization, digital object management and services.

1. First organization unit: At first I tell a long story about the Hungarian Electronic Library. You can see the main step of story in the slide! [+]

Once upon a time … In the spring of 1994, during the first/annual GOPHER-WORKSHOP meeting, a few enthusiastic librarians came forward with an Initiative Plan concerning the establishment and operation of a future Electronic Library. In the summer two test-collections were established on the gopher servers (in the University of Miskolc and the University of Economics in Budapest). In September, 1994 the National Information Infrastructure Development Program (NIIF) included the Hungarian Electronic Library (MEK) Project into its first three-year agenda, and, in early 1995, work started on the central collection of the HUngarian Electronic Libraryinitially as a gopher-service.

A year later, the web-interface was created, and the mainstream service of the HUngarian Electronic Library switched to a http server on mek.iif.hu. Due to the invaluable assistance and work of several individuals and institutions the collection significant grew (to about 4000 items) between the years of 1996 and 2002, with 60-70 thousand visitors each month. Also, the collection development policies were formed: the HUngarian Electronic Library collects resources concerning Hungary or the Central European region, in the fields of culture, education and academic research. The collection consists of text-based resources, but does not exclude other formats such as maps, sheet music etc. The Hungarian Electronic Library also collects periodicals and journals, and links to other relevant resources, services and documents concerning libraries.

In 1999 anon-profit association was established for the support of the Hungarian Electronic Library and to enhance the interest for creating electronic library collections. In the autumn of the same year the Hungarian National Library decided to provide a new home for the HUngarian Electronic Library project. As a result of this decision, the Hungarian Electronic Library-Department was formed within the National Library, starting with a two-men staff. In the year 2001 the new service launched on the HUngarian Electronic Library's own server (mek.oszk.hu) with an enhanced collection, the implementation of standard metadata-formats and library applications, and the addition of the Electronic Periodicals Archive.

Since the last year summer has been working the so called Digital Collection Group within the frame of Hungarian Electronic Library Department. This group collects especially from the departments of national library and from the several producers (publishers, authors etc.) came digital objects, and than the collected objects processes, archives and fits with metadata. Actualy it is developing a digital assets management system based on the own digital preservation worflow. The main aim of the group is the long-term preservation and the preparation of digital objects for several services.This group has important role in the connection between the activities of traditional national library and the new digital library.

During the course of the past few years the Hungarian Electronic Library became one of the most popular and most significant archives of the Hungarian webspace. The number of daily visitorsby the official auditor company (Median Webaudit) is 30.000.

2. [+] Second organization unit is the Digitization Committee of the National Széchényi Library, whichstarted in the winter of 2004.The main scope of duties of the Committee isthe theoretical and practical support of the in-house digitization and digital object management. The Committee monitors standards, prepares and maintains recommendations, and makes a motion to decision makers, gets up workshops, identifies trategic priorities, supports innovation and technical development

[+] Participation in the national digitisation strategy planing

On based of the experiences of the National Library takes part some strategy plans preparation.

The Hungarian National Library participated actively with other cultural institution together in the survey of Hungarian cultural heritage for digitization (2004) and National digitization strategy plan (2007-2013) (2005) (with Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Neumann-house, Hungarian Library Institute).

You can find this last document in English on the desk.

At last. In this year we made a proposal to the Hungarian Internet Archive.

Thank you, and I would like to ask István Moldován for continue our presentation.

[+] The really reason of digitisation processes is mostly the widespread access, the more effectiv usage of documents, our cultural heritage.

For access are the most important tool the metadata, bibliographic and technical information about digitized or born digital documents.

[+] For access our digital document we have some so called digital library services:

  • our outsoursing digitised maps are on homepage a military institut who digitise these maps. The metadata about this maps can be searchable in our OPAC
  • we collect and make available online digitised and born digital monographic documents in the Hungarian Electronic Library
  • we collect and make available online digitised and selected online electronic serials in the Electronic Periodical Database and Archive
  • a part of our digitized images is can accessible in a homepage called “Historical Chronologie” and last but not least
  • our most worthfully manuscripts, korvinas can be seen in our Corvina homepage

[+] Please let me give you a short outlook about Hungarian Electronic Library. In this e-library we collect the digitized monograph in OSZK and outside, born digital documents from websites, scientific institutes, universities, authors, CD-ROMs - like an voluntary deposit on the ground of agreements with publishers, scientific intitutes. We works about digital preservation of this digital documents with methods “migration”. At least we make metadata about our digital documents in different standards and all of this documents available online free of charge.

[+] In our Electronic Periodical Archive we collect selected way online and rather in housed digitised journals. Otherwise in this database we make metadate, we cataloge the hungarian online journal too.

[+] As I said the metadata is the key for the accessibility of digital documents. In our electronic library we can export metadate in different formats, e.g. HUNMARC, USMARC, Dublin Core, XML. These metadata we can put to few important other database, e.g. MOKKA – the hungarian shared cataloge system, NDA – the common virtual cataloge about online documents and in experimental our records in The European Library whom cataloge will be base of the European Digital Library. Unfortunatelly about financial problems we can not make open our records in the TEL.

For encouraging using metadate we have setup since few weeks a hungarian Dublin Core generator after a good example in Czech National Library.

[+] Last a little bit about a few interesting proposal, initiative in this subject:

  • We have made a proposal to start archiving the hungarian web.
  • We want to setup a consortium aim making available and accessible the written heritage in Central Europe. We want to it as an umbrella vision for many independent projects in this regio.
  • International meeting between EROMM and OCLC about agreement on minimal metadata about digitised documents in MARC for coordinating the digitisation international.