This is the homepage of the Digital Library of Hungarian Studies. The making and publishing of about 3,800, mostly large volumes in electronic format is the largest digitisation enterprise in Hungary so far. The project is coordinated by the National Széchényi Library, the digital editions will be available in the Hungarian Electronic Library. Due to the support of the Ministry of Informatics and Communications the work has been started in January 2004, you can follow the developments, the lists of planned and finished electronic books on this page. First of all the most important academic handbooks will be published on the Internet.
Hungarology, or Hungarian studies, covers interdisciplinary research dealing with the Hungarian people, its ethnic group, its history, language, culture, national civilisation in the past and present, as well as its place and role in the universal civilisation of mankind.
As such, in addition to the disciplines listed, it focuses attention on history, language and literature, fiction, cultural history, ethnological research and geography.
At the initiative of Professor Tibor Klaniczay an academic society was set up for those involved in Hungarian studies in 1997. The International Society of Hungarian Philology (ISHP) has its seat in Budapest, its members are dealing with Hungarian studies in 35 countries - their number exceeds one thousand.
It has been the objective of this society to assist the work of those involved in Hungarian studies all over the world, and to present the findings of related research to those interested, as well as to allow them access to the achievements of this complex discipline.
Nowadays it is of special importance to provide information on this field before Hungary's accession to the European Union. The interest in our culture may grow, the events of our history and the changes in our civilisation are likely to raise extensive interest both in and beyond Europe. Hungary is expected to make the results of Hungarology research accessible to the students and faculty at the relevant departments of universities and colleges, to the visitors of Hungarian cultural institutes abroad (called Collegium Hungaricum), and to the users of library collections.
We wish to make the research results available to the widest possible audience, and to promote the exchange of information between the groups of specialists in Hungary and abroad.
The first serious initiative in this area was the publishing of a book list entitled "A core library of Hungarian studies" in 1986, co-published by the ISHP and the Society for the Dissemination of Scientific Knowledge (TIT). This bibliography represented an introduction to the literature of Hungarology.
The next publication to follow was the "List of reference works" compiled by the National Széchényi Library Centre for Library Science and Methodology (CLSM) in 1993. It has focused on handbooks and gave an overview of the materials in a variety of disciplines. This list was therefore shorter and more modest than its predecessor. Another addition is now in preparation, concentrating again on handbooks, being compiled by the Hungarian Library Institute, the successor of CLSM. These bibliographies have merely aimed at identifying the works in demand and at assisting their purchase.
The application of information technology today has, however, enabled remote access to the original works.
The Hungarian Electronic Library operating within the National Széchényi Library makes now, as a first step, the materials of the 1986 and 1993 book lists, plus the additions from 2003 available on the Internet. About 3,800 volumes (more than 2 million pages) have been selected from these lists - with the help of experts and the members of the HUNGALAP forum - to be digitised.