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Unique Photographic Documents Published by the Museum of Transport and Fortepan

1200 photos have become accessible thanks to the collaboration of the renewing Museum of Transport and the photo archive of Fortepan. The goal of the co-operation is to present those values of the history of transport and industry which were hardly presented before, and to share these unique photographs with the public. The recently published photographs got into the possession of the Museum decades ago from the heritage of the Ship Factory of Óbuda and of the Ganz Ship Factory. Then they were uploaded to Fortepan.

"We processed and freely published highly exciting photographs which were unaccessible so far. The pictures originate from the archive of the museum and now they are openly accessible to the public. The Hungarian Museum of Transport together with Fortepan is planning to continue the successful co-operation in the future this way helping the work of visitors and researchers" – said Dávid Vitézy, general director of the Museum of Transport.

“The courage of the Museum of Transport should be admired, that free access was provided to the public. It would be welcomed if this decision convinced other public collections as well” – noted Miklós Tamási, founder of Fortepan.

Sharing the photos is an especially significant step because using photographs and document sets of public collections are not free of charge in Hungary. Several examples abroad demonstrate that a remarkable part of public collections is freely available for a wider range of public. This intention is motivated by the transforming role of a museums in the Digital Era. The renewing Museum of Transport, driven by this idea, intends to allow that photos, which used to be hardly seen, and could only be searched and applied only for charge, would be freely accessible by public audiences. It is important to note that this new attitude concerns the deletion of publishing fees and other fees which are connected to usage. It does not affect the copyright, which is taken into consideration in case it is necessary. It is aimed to ensure access to and display of the values of transport and industrial heritage in an academic quality not only for researchers but for the public as well.

Glass negatives, originating from the first half of the century, could have been important parts of corporal documentation. With now digitalizing and publishing these beautiful glass plates, professionals can see a great amount of these photographs for the first time. Professionals of the Museum of Transport also prepare captions to most of the photos. Photos were uploaded to the webpage of Fortepan, in opposition to the general practice, mostly accompanied by concerning data.

Fortepan is still relying on the readers’ knowledge. Comments, stories and data are welcome to be posted on the Forum, which can provide the photographs with further interpretations. Since the renewing Museum of Transport considers ensuring open access to its collections and processing the photographs of its collection as important tasks, the collaboration of the Museum and Fortepan is carried on. Further unique information about the history of transport are intended to be shared on Fortepan – two thousand photographs have already been digitalized. Many photos will be shared, depicting various phenomena – from Oszkár Asbóth’s helicopter to the railway construction of the lake Balaton.