Preservation of manuscripts for the Hungarian National Library

The Hungarian National Library was founded in 1802 by the Hungarian Count Ferenc Széchényi. Szécheny. Its collections consist of more than 2 million books, periodicals, manuscripts, documents, and images. Serving as a storehouse of knowledge, National Széchényi Library is an institution storing and making publicly available traditional (paper-based) and modern (electronic) library documents of the Hungarian cultural heritage.


Libraries carry an important responsibility to ensure valuable information lives on for decades and even centuries. This can be a difficult task with challenges such digital obsolescence, multiple file formats, content duplication, both analogue and born digital information and resource constraints.

Hungary, like many nations, are working to ensure items of most cultural valuable are digitised. At present, the main task of the Hungarian National Library is to provide two repositories of all publications and all kinds of prints produced in Hungary, including other materials (sound recordings, videos, electronic documents, etc.) and works published by Hungarian authors in foreign languages and in Hungarian.

Keeping this data alive can be a challenging process with most technologies only designed for short term storage. Technological obsolescence perhaps presents the greatest risk to data with a race against time to ensure data isn’t trapped on unreadable media or in unreadable formats.

The library now holds over 8 million volumes of data.


The Hungarian National Library were looking for a viable solution for long-term digital preservation of its precious heritage.

After considering other technologies, such as LTO tape, the client trusted Piql to digitally preserve digitised manuscripts from the time of Matthias Corvinus, on our unique purpose-built technology, piqlFilm.

Storing data with Piql achieves OAIS (ISO 14721) compliance and is as easy to use as any other digital technology, but with a unique security, integrity and longevity.

These manuscripts will be safe for centuries in the future, without the need for migration and with guaranteed future access. Piql is the only technology that can deliver sustainable storage, for any length of time, with no risk of data loss.

The Hungarian National Library now displays Piql’s technology alongside the original manuscripts, allowing visitors to learn about the importance of digital preservation.