In early 2008, the Hungarian Ministry of Education and Culture published a call for proposals for the creation of a national digital library comprising already existing digital copies of picture collections, maps, photos, postcards, posters, engravings as well as scanned manuscripts. Funding was allocated for the conversion of the digital images, for providing metadata to the existing digital documents, and for ICT infrastructure necessary for the provision of quality services. 48 libraries received funding in the framework of the project. The setting up of the central database and service interface was taken up by the National Szechenyi Library. The partner libraries contributed high resolution copies of freely accessible digital images from their library collections to the central archive. Copies for service provision were made from the good quality archival copies. The Hungarian Digital Image Library (Magyar Digitalis Kepkonyvtar) offering multiple search possibilities can be found at www.kepkonyvtar.hu. Having performed a successful search, users of the digital library are offered various options. Selected pictures can be saved and printed, arranged into a slideshow or sent as a digital postcard. In order to facilitate the more detailed study of maps and engravings, a special magnifying tool, applying the Zoomify technology is available, The searching of the database is freely accessible to anyone, only a few services - e.g. the request for copies - require registration by e-mail address. The digital images can be used for private and educational purposes. For commercial use, a permission must be obtained from the rights holder libraries holding the original copy of the document. As of March 2009, the Hungarian Digital Image Library contains more than 10,000 records and in the few following months, this number is likely to be doubled. Although the project with special funding from the Ministry was accomplished, the collection of the digital library keeps expanding. Current partner libraries continue to contribute to the collection and other libraries intend to join. With its great number of well-known and less well-known images that can be freely accessed, the Hungarian Digital Image Library provides an outstanding source of materials for education and individual learning. The collection will be soon accessible in the framework of the Europeana project.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.