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Digital Project Opens Possibility to Research Hungarian Noble Families

Hungary Today 2024.03.28.

A group of young people with noble roots, led by art historian Villő Szekeres-Ugron, embarked on an ambitious project: the Hungarian Noble Photographic Archive (MaNeFo), reports kronikaonline.ro. This initiative aimed to preserve and digitize photographic material related to the Hungarian nobility.

The inspiration for the project stemmed from a digitization competition, highlighting the importance of safeguarding cultural heritage. Collaborating with organizations such as the Castellum Foundation and the Association of Hungarian Historical Families, Villő Szekeres-Ugron spearheaded the endeavor. Funding from the National Cultural Fund’s College of Photography and generous contributions from private donors facilitated the project’s initiation.

The core focus of the project lay in digitization efforts, overseen by Ms. Szekeres-Ugron and an advisory board. Their goal was to ensure accessibility of the digitized material to researchers and historians. She expressed the significance of this endeavor, stating:

collecting photographic material of the Hungarian nobility, due to its rich and valuable content, would be highly beneficial.”

Despite challenges associated with accessing noble-related sources, Szekeres-Ugron remained optimistic about expanding the project’s scope to include contemporary photographs.

The envisioned outcome was a comprehensive, searchable online database housing both historical and contemporary images. Szekeres-Ugron emphasized a long-term approach, with the project slated for a duration of 10-15 years. In addition to digitizing endangered materials and privately owned photos, the project aimed to incorporate publicly accessible photographs from museum collections and private collectors.

Controlled access to the database was a key consideration to ensure uniformity in quality and data. Szekeres-Ugron stressed the importance of continued support through donations, underscoring the positive impact on families.

Through diligent efforts, the project unearthed invaluable sources, including photographs depicting destroyed monuments, portraits of previously unknown individuals, and various traditional activities.

In a conversation, Szekeres-Ugron reflected on the initial stages of the project, stating, “before submitting the application, I engaged with families possessing valuable photographic material, anticipating their willingness to contribute.” She emphasized the project’s aim to publish not only photos but also related data, ensuring comprehensive accessibility. Ms. Szekeres-Ugron highlighted the need for a photographic set to address materials unsuitable for scanning.

The Hungarian Noble Photographic Archive project represents a commendable effort to preserve and digitize valuable cultural heritage, providing researchers and historians with unprecedented access to nobility-related photographic material. Through strategic partnerships, dedicated efforts, and ongoing support, the project endeavors to safeguard this rich legacy for future generations.

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Via kronikaonline.ro; Featured Image: Facebook / Castellum Alapítvány

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