National Széchényi Library makes a thousand modern era engravings digital public domain

Printer-friendly versionPDF version


Our latest digital content service dubbed Régi Ritka( Old Rare) further expands the range of special documents which you can browse from the comfort of your home. The continuously enriched database compiled from the materials kept in NSZL’s Early Printed Books Archive provides access to the earliest print documents owned by National Széchényi Library.
In the first phase, some one thousand items of the collection of engravings once owned by bibliophile collector Count Sándor Apponyi (1844–1925) will be made virtual public domain. These items represent a significant historical source value.

The rich graphic material depicting the foreign reception of the events of the period from the 16th to the 19th century in Hungary comes from the separate collection of engravings of the great donator of our library, and from his world-famous Hungarica book collection.

The collection contains several interesting unique items including an engraved woodcut, known to exist only in one copy, depicting Hungarian King Miksa I and his warlord, Lázár Schwendi, and the famous border castle knight, György Thury, which served to propagate initiatives to expel the Ottomans.

Our new content service helps with targeted search with a multi-criteria search system, but our visitors can also select by various thematic groupings, such as geographical location (Historical Hungary, Europe, Buda, Pest), genre (view, cityscape, siege, portrait), technique (copper engraving, etching, copper engraving and etching, woodcut, colored engravings) as well as the persons depicted (separately the rulers and leaders). We also highlighted the work of some notable engraving artists (such as Albrecht Dürer, Johann Sibmacher, or Elias Wiedemann). Orientation is also facilitated by providing detailed bibliographic data and content elements for each section (often containing new research findings). Our website also includes two detailed image summaries entitled The Collection of Count Sándor Apponyi and Hungary-related Engravings in the Apponyi Collection. And if our readers are interested in other interesting old book content, they can find a number of various posts on the National Library's blog  written by former and current staff of NSZL’s Early Printed Books Archive.

Digital images of the engravings are published in good quality and under a free license, i.e. made freely available, downloadable and usable by indicating the source, hoping that documents that can be studied in their original form only with strict research permission will be made available to the widest possible audience.

We also recommend you our online thematic services and the content provided by Fotótér (Photo Space), Földabrosz (Earth Cloth), Plakáttár (Poster Archive) and the Hungarian Electronic Library.