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DVD from Arcanum on Hungarian nobility

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  • Janet Kozlay
    I recently gave out the information that I now have the DVD (Könyvtár IV) from Arcanum that includes the Nagy Iván and Kempelen Béla databases that were
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 10, 2005
      I recently gave out the information that I now have the DVD (K�nyvt�r IV)
      from Arcanum that includes the Nagy Iv�n and Kempelen B�la databases that
      were previously offered for free on the Arcanum website. These databases are
      often looked upon as bibles of Hungarian nobility, containing historical,
      genealogical, and heraldic information on a great many Hungarian noble
      families. Nagy has more information on coats of arms, including verbal
      descriptions (blazonry) and in many cases illustrations; Kempelen has more
      extensive family trees and many more family names.

      Bill Tarkulich has asked me to give a brief review of the DVD for the
      benefit of anyone who is thinking about purchasing it.

      First of all, it is quite expensive. Arcanum charges 200 euros for the DVD
      and another 50 for "postage." On top of that, they do not honor credit cards
      and ask for a bank transfer, which adds more money. Finally, my husband (who
      purchased this for me as a Christmas gift) had to cobble together an email
      in Hungarian, without knowing the language, in order to communicate with
      them. I previously had purchased a CD from them, but I did it by finding a
      friend in Budapest who went to their store to buy it and then sent it to me.
      It was considerably cheaper that way.

      The DVD contains much more than just the Nagy and Kempelen databases,
      including Siebmacher's Wappenbuch, which focuses on illustrated coats of
      arms of about 12,000 noble families. The coats of arms are beautifully
      rendered, much better than the ones in Nagy. There is much less, however, in
      the way of text or genealogies. The text is in German.

      There are a total of 35 entire books and volume sets on this DVD, which
      concentrates on works that relate to Hungarian nobility and heraldry but
      that also include information on history and different regions of historic
      Hungary. Most of the books are in Hungarian; some are in Latin. Some of them
      contain additional genealogies and coats of arms, often in beautiful color.
      There are also many illustrations and photographs in some of the books,
      others are strictly text.

      You can use the DVD two ways. You can search on a word or a name by clicking
      the binoculars. That opens a screen on which to enter the word you are
      searching for. The left side of the screen will give you a listing of every
      instance on the entire DVD, usually with enough surrounding text to
      determine if it is relevant to your search. It is not necessary to use
      diacritical marks because all words are listed in alphabetical order, like a
      dictionary. For example, if you type "jaszkis" you will be offered:










      You can double click on as many of them as you wish, and it will give you
      every instance of all of them. Double clicking on the word or name on the
      left will give you the corresponding text on the right. I found this very
      easy to use.

      The second way to use it is by looking at the individual books, which are
      listed at the beginning of the DVD. I found several of them fascinating to
      simply scroll through, even though I am unable to read the Hungarian text.
      (A good Hungarian-English dictionary, such as Orsz�gh, is a huge help if you
      want to at least get an idea of the text.) Some of the books are lavishly
      illustrated and include such things as ancient maps of villages, views of
      towns and countrysides, old houses that illustrate regional architecture,
      castles, etc., in addition to many coats of arms. It is easy to lose
      yourself in them for hours.

      In sum, if you choose to purchase this DVD, you are essentially buying a
      library. Is it worth the price? Well, to me it was, but that is because I
      find myself tracing a lot of Hungarian noble family names. If you found
      yourself frequently consulting Nagy and Kempelen when they were online, you
      would probably love this library. If you only have a name or two in which
      you are interested, it would probably not be worth the high cost. Someone
      (!) would probably be more than willing to look up the names for you to find
      what is there.

      Janet Kozlay

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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