Executive Director of the Forum Hungaricum Mr. Lajos Lovas first introduced the digital archive, accessible on the website mandadb.hu, at the opening of the Balaton Museum’s exhibition ‘Greetings from Lake Balaton’ on 23 March 2013. During the past five years, more than 170, different-type public cultural and public collection institutes have joined the National Cultural Digitisation Public Employment Program coordinated by the company, and they have augmented the online collection with more than 500 thousand records and nine million related metadata.
You can browse and search among old postcards from Lake Balaton, advert photos mentioned as ‘retro’ today, or relics of the folk culture fitting well to the country-style. Visitors of the database can watch former theatre posters, actors’ portraits, program brochures; they can turn the pages of ancient archive materials and libraries’ collections.
The MaNDA DB - run by the Forum Hungaricum – is unique regarding its contents. It makes national cultural assets, which are often invisible for visitors, accessible and reusable. Relics and art objects found in museum depots and private collectors’ cellars, become visible and available after digitisation.
The Forum Hungaricum has a dedicated national sectoral aggregator role due to the Public Collection Digitisation Strategy of the government. Its operation field is the other (cultural) institutions; ecclesiastical institutions have high priority. The Forum Hungaricum contributes to the accessibility and reusability of the Hungarian national cultural assets, also via Europeana, thus Hungary has the opportunity to extend the electronic library of the European Union with plenty of new data and digital documents.
Besides searching and browsing digitised cultural contents, visitors can see thematic virtual exhibitions - composed from the records of MaNDA DB – launched weekly. The 100th virtual exhibition has been published today, introducing the favourite records of the Digital Archive Development Department of the Forum Hungaricum.
Digital Archive Development Department
Translated by Zita Aknai