2012 - Moving Between Two Worlds
"The Archives of Living and the Dead Things"
2012 was marked by changes, difficulties and new developments, some foreseeable and others not, and the staff of OSA had to invent new ways of dealing with them.
In the changed political-cultural climate in Hungary OSA maintained its open institution profile with increased political and social sensitivity and turned itself into an alternative cultural-intellectual space, built exhibitions which challenged established historical thinking and encouraged discussion dedicated to the current cultural, political and economic situation. Emblematic of this endeavor was the exceptionally successful Manuscript A(u)ction organized in the Galeria Centralis, where manuscripts of outstanding contemporary writers, poets and composers were publicly auctioned and 2.4 million forints were raised in support of the Oltalom Karitatív Egyesület led by Gábor Iványi.
With respect to OSA’s professional activity, 2012 was the year of breakthrough when the results of several years’ efforts to build a state-of-the-art archival laboratory became visible. OSA redesigned and restructured its website and launched its digital repository with 71,000 items available online and also through Europeana, the digital gateway to cultural heritage in Europe.
A major addition to the multidisciplinary and many faceted archival-historical research stream in OSA was the new position opened for an OSA Research Archivist engaged in in-house training, cross departmental teaching and archival research. Launching the Archival Laboratory, a new framework that integrates activities directly or indirectly related to archival research contributed to both strengthening and restructuring OSA’s research landscape.
Combining archival research with OSA’s public engagement has a long tradition. In such cases research findings are not published in a traditional way but are visualized and embodied in concrete exhibition concepts and items, such as the “Dead Libraries” exhibition, which was reflecting on the relationship between historical changes and libraries, on the preservation and re-use of information.
To learn more about OSA, its history, mission and involvements, please see the attached annual activity reports.