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Győri Lapok, Vol 1. Copy 1.(Sample Copy) , Sándor Czéh, Győr, 1879

Although National Széchényi Library is supposed to receive copies of all the printed materials produced within the borders of Hungary, there have been large gaps in newspaper volumes submitted in such a way. Since 1860, there has been an enormous increase in the number of dailies and periodicals, so it was no longer possible to keep up with the flow. The establishment of National Newspaper Library was an achievement of József Szinnyei, Sr, the greatest Hungarian bibliographer of the time, who had been commissioned with this task in 1884, by Ágoston Trefort, then Minister of Culture. During many years of diligent collecting, Szinnyei managed to fill in many of the existing gaps in the volumes of newspapers. Newspaper collections of several large Budapest-based libraries were also combined with the collection of National Széchényi Library.

A state-of-the-art arrangement of the collection was also begun under Szinnyei’s leadership. The increasingly significant collection became a separate division of the Library in 1888. The storage arrangement of newspapers was modified during the 1930s and new catalogues were also set up. Increasing difficulties in preservation led to the establishment of a Microfilm Collection in 1952. This unit of NSZL is responsible for transferring newspapers and periodicals to a microfilm format. Since 1971, the former Newspaper Collection has no longer been an independent unit of National Széchényi Library.