The legal regulation of the Hungarian library field between the two world wars

SIPOS Anna Magdolna

An earlier study by the author (SIPOS, Hungarian Library Review 1999/4) presented the normative state regulation of Hungarian libraries between 1945 and 1997. The current study focuses on the period between the two world wars. The studies do not only provide an overview of the relevant legal acts but also throw light on the political ambitions and ideological factors that played an important part in the legislation process.

The regulation of the library system between the two world wars should be examined on the basis of several interconnecting acts ensuring coherent legislation. These are the following: 1) the Act XIX of 1922 on the administration of the largest public collections and the system of certification of their staff 2) the Act on legal deposit that came into force in the same year and that was an addition to the relevant law of 1897 3) the article XI of 1929 on museums, libraries and archives and its ensuing provisions added in 1935 and 4) the Act VIII of 1934 on the Hungarian National Museum and on the system of large public collections. The cultural policies of the period (under the ministries of culture headed respectively by Kuno Klebelsberg and Bálint Hóman) played an important part in fostering a modern library system in Hungary. The history of the legal regulation of the Hungarian library field reflects the influence of international trends, but also fits into the library concept based on national traditions, determined by the cultural policies of the time.

Copyright and digital rights management


The study deals with the amendments to the law LXXVI of 1999 on copyright in compliance with joining the European Union and the European harmonisation of copyright legislation. The article also gives an overview of the management of digital rights and some relevant technical solutions.

The latest (third) amendment to Hungarian copyright law was made in 2003 in order to comply with the provisions of the INFOSOC directive ratified by the European Parliament. The law stipulates that authors have an exclusive right to grant permission not only to use their work in digital format, but also to copy the work. The regulation is permissive towards in-house copying for institutional use, but the range of such institutions is again limited.

Digital content published on the Interned is protected by the Digital Right Management technologies allowing for the author to determine who can use the work and for what purpose.

In January 2005, a debate started about copyright issues in the digital age on the listserv of Hungarian librarians. In connection with the discussions, the Creative Commons licenses were brought up. Creative Commons is not a DRM solution, but a set of sample licences that can be used by authors in order to determine the rights to access their work by various groups of users. The national standardisation of Creative Commons has already started.

In Hungary, the Interministerial Committee on Information Society is in charge of digital copyright issues. Despite the efforts, the current digital copyright regulations are not able to protect the author from the illegal distribution of works, but they can seriously restrict the scope of services delivered by public collections.


Text, information, relevance


Library science, similarly to linguistics, can be located at the border between text and content, representation and relevance. It can also be connected with semiotics. The relation between signs, text and information are examined through the works of Douglas Raber and John M. Budd on the two fundamental linguistic terms introduced by Ferdinand de Saussure, langue and parole. As for the relation between sign and meaning, we can find a variety of conflicting theories. But Saussure’s theory can be applied even in studying the nature of information. From the complex theme of relevance, the article only deals with the impact of the relevance theory by Dan, Sperber and Deirede Wilson on library sciences.



Collections of social sciences literature in Hungary: the Hungarian Central Statistical Office Library and Documentation Services

NEMES Erzsébet

The prestigious library of the Hungarian Central Statistical Office was founded in 1867 by Károly Keleti, the first president of the office. Since 1897, the library offers open access to the public and has a legal deposit right. With its more than 750,000 volumes and despite the damages suffered during World War II, the library currently represents one of the oldest and largest collections of statistical data not only in Hungary, but also in Europe. Its continuous development is ensured not only by the legal deposit right of the library, but also by the own publications of the statistical office and by the exchanges with over 400 foreign libraries. The infrastructural development that started in 2001 as well as the introduction of the OLIB integrated system represented an important milestone in improving the quality of services. In December 2003, the library appeared on the World Wide Web. Its homepage and online catalogue can be accessed at http://lib.ksh.hu


The Central Library of the Corvinus University of Budapest

NAGY Zsuzsanna

The study presents the special features of the library that have been determined by the circumstances of its foundation. The library offers a significant representation of the outstanding Hungarian economic and social sciences books and journals from their early period. Selected foreign publications give an outline of the international professional literature of the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries. Today’s collection reflects the impact of various collection management principles of earlier times. The second part of the study presents the objectives laid out in the mission statement of the library and the new services for various user groups, resulting from the hybrid and electronic library environment.


Updates on the standardisation developments in Hungary

BERKE Barnabásné

Report on the 2004 and 2005 activities of the Hungarian library and scholarly literature reference services standardisation committee.
Publications from Bosnia-Herzegovina (bosniaca) in the collection of Slavic literature of the Library of Foreign Literature


The Library of Foreign Literature has a rich collection of Slavic literature, including a modest but representative collection from Bosnia-Herzegovina (Bosnian, Serbian and Croatian literature). Documents are collected according to the bosniaca categories by geography, language, persons and content. The acquisition policy primarily targets works in the fields of literature, literary sciences and linguistics, history and local history. The author also talks about the collection of Hungarian language publications related to Bosnia-Herzegovina.

The library system in Slovenia


The article provides a summary of the Slovenian library and information services network, the retrospective conversion project and the national digitisation strategy. It also presents the Institute of Information Science, Maribor (IZUM) and the Co-operative Online Bibliographic System and Services (COBISS) and reports on the participation of the National and University Library in Ljubljana in international projects supported by the European Union.


Digitisation of local information in the Pomurje region of Slovenia


For the libraries serving ethnic minorities in the Pomurje region, the digitisation of documents related to local history is an urgent issue both for preservation purposes and for supporting related research. Although the Co-operative Online Bibliographic System and Services (COBISS) contains the records of Hungarian books, journals and articles of the aforementioned libraries, a solution needs to be found for the digitisation of the full text. As a first step, a decision needs to be made about the core resources to be digitised, then the ways of cooperation have to be laid out. Making local information available for the wide public would certainly enhance the reputation of libraries and librarians in the Pomurje region.


Organisational culture in the library and information services – framework and experiences


Not much research has been done in the field of organisational culture yet, although as the results show, appropriate analysis would help find answers to important questions e.g. how to increase efficiency in the library. The study deals with the levels and system of organisational culture elaborated by Quinn and Schein and presents the competing values framework. The author applies the different types of organisational culture to types of libraries. The cultural groupings of Hofstede are illustrated with examples.
The activities of the John von Neumann Digital Library and Multimedia Centre

The financial report of 2004 on the library and data bank services of the “Neumann House” public company.

A complete, revised and amended edition of the Hungarian national bibliography 1921-1944

(Reviewed by M. Bényei)


KISZL Péter: Business information, company information and libraries

(Reviewed by Máté Tóth)

HARRIS Lesley Ellen: Licensing digital content.
A practical guide for librarians

(Reviewed by Tibor Koltay)
CLAYTON, Peter – GORMAN, G. E.: Managing information resources in libraries, Collection management in theory and practice

(Reviewed by Tibor Koltay)


BALOGH Ferencné: The practical guide of managing a children’s library

(Reviewed by Veronika Éger)

MEISTER Róbert: The bibliography of the Hungarian social sciences literature in

(Reviewed by Emese Czintos)

TODEA, Ana – FÜLÖP Mária: The scientists of Mures county (Romania)

(Reviewed by Géza Fülöp)

Poems of Bálint Balassi at the John von Neumann Digital Library and Multimedia Centre

(Reviewed by Annamária Sudár)

Pictures from the Hungarian literature. The new services of the John von Neumann Digital Library and Multimedia Centre.

(Reviewed by Zsófia Hámori)

Kategória: 2005. 3. szám | A közvetlen link.