10,000 digitised pages: the first milestone of the collaboration between the NSZL and the Haydneum

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The digitisation centre of the National Széchényi Library (NSZL) has been operational for a year, with the largest and most modern equipment among public collections in Central Europe. In connection with the inauguration of the centre, the NSZL and the Haydneum – Hungarian Centre for Early Music have entered into a cooperation agreement, which has resulted in the first 10,000 pages. The aim of the collaboration is to process, manage and revitalise the significant cultural, musical and musicological heritage of Hungary between 1600 and 1850.

The cross-institutional work is based on the Esterházy Collection, one of the most valuable holdings of the Theatre History and Music Collection of the NSZL, which contains manuscript scores of 18th-19th century composers, including Haydn, Werner, Albrechtsberger among others.


Because of its importance in the history of music, the two institutions were the first to work in depth on the works of Gregor Joseph Werner: the digitisation project, which started in October 2022, has processed 222 Werner volumes and reached the previously unthinkable level of 10,000 digitised pages. The material that the Haydneum has processed and will process in the future will eventually be used to produce modern editions of the music, which will involve a number of additional tasks for researchers in the fields of linguistic, musical and historical interpretation. One of the institution's main objectives is to bring these works, which have not been performed for hundreds of years, into today's concert halls through modern editions and to make them accessible to a wider audience than just the music professionals through performances and recordings.

The 10,000 pages digitised so far are just the beginning of the professional work that is adding to the cultural wealth of our time in the digital space every day.


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