Exchanging digitization experiences with Turkish chief restorer

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Nil Baydar, chief restorer at Istanbul-based Institute of Turkish Manuscripts recently paid a visit to National Széchényi Library.

Nil Baydar began her official visit to NSZL at the Restoration and Bindery Department where she had a meeting with head of the department Marianne Érdi. The Turkish chief restorer was guided through the restoration workshop and she had a professional consultation with her Hungarian colleague. Following that, she met the Director of NSZL’s Special Collections Ferenc Földesi in the Manuscript Archive of the Library. By way of presenting some of our Turkish manuscripts and a corvina, the Director talked about the stylistic kinship existing between the two manuscript groups, and he also gave information about the collection structure as well as the history of National Széchényi Library.

Nil Baydar said that in Turkey the preservation, conservation and digital processing of manuscripts, early prints and rare books are carried out in a structure different from the one used in Hungary. The institute, she is working for as a chief restorer, provides professional supervision for all libraries in Turkey regarding issues such as restoration or digitization. Baydar is responsible mainly for preparation work related to digitization.

In addition to the continuously expanding proprietary digital libraries of the various collections, a central digital library of Turkish manuscripts will soon be launched, currently covering some two percent of all the manuscripts kept in Turkey.

At present, the digitization of early and rare prints does not belong to works of primary importance because these collections are so big that until now, not even modern catalogs could be made of them. Mass digitization of print materials can be started only when these catalogs are finally compiled.