4. Shared catalogues and national electronic services

The Hungarian National Shared Catalogue
Magyar Országos Közös Katalógus (MOKKA)

At the end of the 1990s, 15 libraries (including the National Széchényi Library, the most important academic, research and special libraries, and the Metropolitan Ervin Szabó Library in its role as the leading public library of the country) declared their intention to join forces for the setting up of a national shared catalogue based on a single database. This initial group of libraries effectively covered 100% of the Hungarian publications and 70% of the foreign titles held in Hungarian library collections. In 2002, the National Széchényi Library took charge of the operation and development of this national shared catalogue, known as MOKKA. Other libraries have since joined the system, bringing the number of participants to 39 by 2006. MOKKA makes available shared catalogue records in order to avoid duplications of cataloguing efforts. The database also supports the retrospective cataloguing being carried out by Hungarian libraries. Supported by “eCorvina” software, it offers a standardised, user-friendly system designed to be used by both librarians and readers. The development of the catalogue has been funded through various grants for national ICT development.
It is expected that the number of libraries participating in MOKKA will rise to 100 in the coming years. By this point, the group of libraries will cover 100% of the documents held in Hungarian library collections, fulfilling the function of MOKKA as a central shared catalogue. Further plans include the merger of MOKKA and the National Periodical Database in order to make periodical records available through the same system. Another important future project will be the fusion of MOKKA and the location database of the National Document Delivery System (see below).

National Periodical Database
Nemzeti Periodika Adatbázis (NPA)

The National Periodical Database, operated by the National Széchényi Library, is the central catalogue of foreign periodicals held by Hungarian libraries. The database contains the bibliographical data of nearly 42,000 titles (periodicals, newspapers, reports, annuals etc.) and about 1,000,000 related location data. The oldest journal issues date back to 1665. Data is provided by 600 libraries.

The location database of the National Document Delivery System

The catalogue of the National Document Delivery System contains both bibliographical data and document locations. The location database enables any user from any library in the country to search for a particular document, find out which library’s collection holds the item and in what form it can be accessed, and submit a request for the document. The catalogue records offer links to the homepages and the OPACs of the libraries where the document is held. Interlibrary loan requests can be initiated directly via the system, from the same catalogue record. The database started to operate in 2000 and the number of records has reached 3,500,000 to date.

The licensing of academic electronic content

With the availability of broadband Internet and computers in nearly all types of libraries, access to international information resources has widened considerably. However, the licensing of international academic journals and databases represent a major burden for the budgets of individual libraries. In the 1990s, the licensing of electronic databases was organised through consortia of smaller libraries and was paid out of various state grants. In 2001, a national agency was set up for the licensing of electronic academic information for all state-owned universities and colleges (Elektronikus Információszolgáltatás – EISZ). This national consortium, licensing a range of services including “Science Direct” and “Web of Science”, has also been extended to four special libraries with a national remit. Since 2003, the Ministry of Education and Culture has coordinated another major license: this national consortium provides access to a multidisciplinary database package from EBSCO Publishing, and extends not only to academic and research libraries, but public libraries and other non-profit libraries too. Along side these national licenses, small consortia and individual licenses are in place for products in specific scientific areas. These licenses may be paid out of a specific library’s own budget, but the Ministry of Education and Culture also has a special budget for collection development of academic libraries that can be used for subscriptions to foreign journals and databases. This budget is made available within an annual grant scheme.


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Katona József County Library, Kecskemét, community information service
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Central Library of the Metropolitan Szabó Ervin Library, Budapest, reading room
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Library of Foreign Literature, Budapest, reading room
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Town Library, Nagykanizsa, reading area