National Library of Hungary

Organization Type: National Library
Country: Hungary


The archiving of individual digital documents has been ongoing at the NSZL since 1999, within the framework of the Hungarian Electronic Library project, originally launched as a private initiative in 1994. The first attempt to establish a Hungarian Internet Archive and to save complete websites was made in 2006, but the technical and staff requirements were not met at that time. In 2017, a pilot project on web archiving was launched as part of the renewal of the national library’s IT infrastructure, and three years later this activity became essentially operational. In 2022, the Digital Humanities Centre established the Department of Digital Philology and Web Archiving, thus combining the preservation of web content and its research.  

Legal Context 

In Hungary, web archiving was included in the law on cultural institutions in 2020. This became the responsibility of the national library. Since January 2021, the National Széchényi Library has been archiving the Hungarian web in accordance with this regulation. The Government Decree also authorised the NSZL to ensure that websites created by state and local government institutions or with budget support do not need to obtain individual licences to make archived versions available to the public. 


The NSZL web archive consists of various sub-collections. There are thematic and genre harvests every quarter and a broad harvest of the Hungarian web every six months. There are also collections linked to events, individuals, institutions or geographical locations. We also collect news from some major news portals on a daily basis using a browserbased crawler, and we make individual backups of sites that can only be accessed with permission or cannot be archived automatically. On an experimental basis, we also occasionally archive social media content (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, podcasts), but this is not operational due to technical difficulties and the need for live work. 


While part of the collection is accessible to the public, the majority of the archive is only accessible from dedicated workstations in the library’s reading room. Searches can be made by site name and URL, but there are also full-text search engines for individual sub-collections as well as the complete archive. 

International Context 

In January 2018, the National Széchényi Library joined the IIPC and we participated in the Training Working Group, which helped us to develop the material for our own training course for public library professionals. We were also active members of the WARCNet project, for which we contributed to the final book of papers.