In memory of József Antall, the librarian


The study analyzes the career of the Hungarian prime minister, deceased on 12 December 1993, as a librarian between 1963 and 1990. József Antall spent nearly three decades in the Semmelweis Museum, Library and Archive of Medical History. First he had been a research worker, then in 1967 he became deputy head, in 1974 acting director, and since 1985 he has been director-general. The history of medicine and pharmacology had become a peripheral field of science after 1948, and in the 1950s its teaching was also ceased at the university. József Antall as a librarian had elaborated the collection interest of both the museum and the library, he compiled the organizational statute, and proposed that the library and the museum, working separately at that time, be united. With his sense of diplomacy, he won the best experts, put out of the way for political reasons, to be fellows of the institute. He increased the number of staff considerably, and founded the international relations of the institute. He assumed leading roles in Hungarian and international associations, edited the journal “Orvostörténeti Közlemények” (Communications in Medical History). He expected his fellow workers to be welt informed and have scholarly thoroughness. His image of museums of medical and pharmaceutical history in the countryside was similar to the pattern of universities in Germany. Besides his activities in organization and management, he also issued scientific publications not only in the history of medicine, but also in the field of political history. He turned the institute into an acknowledged research and creative workshop, and considered it to be a part of his oeuvre.(pp. 9-14)

Registration of research in Hungary


The plans of a comprehensive, national research information system are just being elaborated under the leadership of the Committee of Science Policy. The existing practice is confused, there are several institutions keeping records of research, however, nationwide registration has not been solved. According to a statute of 1982, the National Technical Library and information Centre is responsible for research registration not only in the field of technology, but also in almost all the areas of scientific research. They issue a list of Hungarian research institutes and compile a database of research reports. The database HRDS (Hungarian Research and Development Information System) is meant to inform foreigners, KUFINT (Magyar Kutatási és Fejlesztési Intézetek) is a database of Hungarian R&D Institutions in English and Hungarian. The English language database of the International Technological Institute, called HUNTECH, offers information on recent Hungarian products. The Library of the Budapest Technological University registers the scientific publications of the university staff in a computerized database. OTKA, the National Scientific Research Fund, has an inventory of research activities having gained support from the fund with the aim of internal information. The computerized registration of research activities belonging to the branch is good in two ministries (health and environment protection). Research in the social sciences is processed in a bulky volume issued by TÁRKI, the Social Science Information Union. This survey underlines the strong need for national, central registration, and until there is no legal regulation, it is advisable to cooperate on the bases of agreements to avoid parallel research. (pp. 29-34)

On exchange formats. Foundations and addenda to Mirna Willer: Machine readable cataloguing. The necessity for standardization)


A format is a set of rules enabling the computer to recognize data for input, processing, storage and display. Characteristics of input, processing (or internal), display and finally of exchange formats are given. The elements of the formats i.e. their structure (syntax), content (semantics) are described and the character set as additional elements is mentioned. Due to the different internal formats and the different application oriented softwares used by information systems conversion is required to exchange information between the systems. The exchange format makes the communication easier, saving a lot of conversion efforts and has also a certain standardizing effect on the establishment of databases and their internal formats. In 1978 the issue of the need of a single international exchange format was raised at the Taormina Symposium. This format has become the CCF {Common Communication Format). Its establishment was funded by Unesco and it was published as a document of the General Information Programme of Unesco. The application of CCF was hindered by various factors, among others by a certain rivalry between UNIMARC, and CCF. UNIMARC gained some distribution as exchange format of national bibliographic agencies. CCF proved to be successful in developing countries and international organizations also as a basis for local formats. In 1992 the tension was eased by the UNIMARC/CCF workshop (Florence). However national bibliographic agencies and database distributors still use their own formats {national MARC formats and various distribution formats) for exchange. CCF/B (for bibliographic information) and CCF/F (for factual information) appeared as the result of further development. In Hungary the HUNMARC format, established by the National Széchényi Library is about to be published. ISO/2709~has its Hungarian version, MSZ 193/11983, but no unanimous approach has been developed yet as far as the content (semantics) of the format is concerned. There is a need for a complete format standard, whereas the standardization of a limited number of variants (CCF, UNIMARC, HUNMARC) seems to be rather possible. (pp. 35-41)

Machine readable cataloguing. The necessity for standardization


The appearance of MARC format is closely related to standardization: there could not be MARC formats without highly standardized procedures. After summarizing the historical background of MARC formats, four topics are described in detail a) the international MARC format (UNIMARC), b) the structure of MARC formats, c) the non-MARC formats, the secondary services community, and d) bridges between format borders: CCF (Common Communication Format) and SGML (Standardized General Mark-up Language) (pp. 42-48)

Aims in public librarianship. (An organization sociological analysis)


Local aims have practically not occurred in public librarianship founded and maintained centrally by councils. The most important aim of networks was to adopt central aims to local levels, and ensure their fulfillment. In spite of this, the fulfillment of the central aims – mainly aims of cultural policy – was formal, and sham results were achieved. Departmental aims were maximal, therefore their fulfillment was hopeless for smaller libraries, and though impressive results were achieved, the situation of disadvantaged libraries had not changed much. The political power was sure to achieve its goals, for libraries served primarily as means of propaganda and the control of culture. (pp. 49-60)

The state of librarianship and documentation in the field of construction

PÁL Eszter

The Information Centre of Construction (Építésügyi Tájékoztatási Központ – ÉTK) has created a limited liability company retaining its still cost-efficient services due to the change of economic conditions. It has also altered the frames for the existence and operation of its central library. After the transformation of ÉTK and its later privatization a non-profit company was founded under the name of Construction Library and Documentation Foundation. This foundation is maintaining the document collection i~ construction having been organized about 40 years ago, offering library and information services for the users. The article describes these services (library, bibliographic information, translation, visual information). (pp. 61-65)

“Multilingual written literature – the way to Europe”. An account of the HUNRA Conference

NEMES Erzsébet

The Hungarian branch of the International Reading Association (IRA), the Hungarian Reading Association (HUNRA), held its international conference in October 1993, in Budapest under the above title. The account describes the major .points of the contributions. The acknowledgement of multilingualism was formulated in every lecture. It also means that national minorities living in Hungary must get all support to be able to preserve their culture. (pp. 68-70)