Kökény és borsó

Az Arcanum Digitális Tudománytárról

  • Bezeczky Gábor MTA BTK Irodalomtudományi Intézet Irodalomelméleti Osztály


Gábor Bezeczky
The Merits and Limits of Arcanum.hu

Arcanum.hu is already an enormous and fast-growing database comprising the complete run of hundreds of Hungarian newspapers, journals, magazines from the early 19th century to the present day. It has about twenty million pages in searchable portable document format (PDF). This seems to be a breakthrough in digital humanities in Hungary. Arcanum.hu has certainly changed the rules of literary history, because the vast majority of literary works were published in newspapers, journals and magazines, and only a fraction reached the book format. Until now, literary histories have been based almost exclusively on books. Due to Arcanum.hu, that will have to change. However, Arcanum.hu is far from perfect. First, the character recognition algorithm it uses is quite flawed. This means two things. First, the search for any word will either miss an unfathomable number of existing occurrences or offer a large and frustrating amount of misreadings. Second, the gaps are considerable. The daily Pesti Napló was published between 1850 and 1939. But the years 1859–1865, 1870–1893 are missing from the database. Still, Arcanum.hu has already become an indispensable tool.