The scope of NSZL's activities has been expanded with web archiving

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On January 1, 2021, National Széchenyi Library was assigned a new task, based on a government decree issued in December 2020, which defines the tasks of the national library in relation to the preservation of web content provided and made public on the Internet. The decree is the result of several years of preparatory work. The creators of the decree also took into account experiences gained during the pilot web archiving project launched in 2017 in NSZL. As a result, Hungary has become one of the few countries where independent legislation applies to this activity and not just the Legal Deposit Act has been extended to content published online.

One of the antecedents of Government Decree No. 626/2020 is a package of proposals amending several points of the Culture Act, voted on May 19, 2020. As part of this, “performing the task of web archiving, in order to preserve digital cultural heritage” was included in the activities of the national library. (The concept of stock development by way of web harvesting appeared in the Collection Regulations of NSZL as early as 2015.) Less than two months later, Government Resolution No. 1358/2020 allocated a budget for this for the year 2021 and the period that follows, and an independent Web Archiving Department was set up in National Széchenyi Library.

In addition to regulating the scope and register of websites to be archived, the types and frequency of harvests, and making archived content available, the government decree also imposes an obligation on content providers to cooperate.

NSZL has to continue entering into contracts with the owners of archived websites, in order for the sites to be included in the publicly available collection. Exceptions are “archived web content of government and local government content providers and content providers of state or municipally maintained institutions, and archived web content created with budget support” because they do not require individual licensing for public service.

Full text of the legislation related to web archiving is available (in Hungarian) on the website of NSZL Web Archive.