PROJECT CASE STUDY

Martin Kukučín’s secret script, or the oldest text in Glagolitic — these texts will also be preserved on piqlFilm

The Slovak National Library (SNK) is a modern scientific, cultural, and educational institution that collects more than 5.2 million documents of various types in its deposits and this number is growing every year. Its aim is to give the general public access to as many of them as possible, either in the form of physical or digital copies. It borrows not only to Slovak citizens but also to foreign users. 

Thanks to constant technological development, the library decided to experimentally archive its data in the innovative form of an analog film medium. In addition to physical media, digital copies, photographs, microfilms, LPs, MG cassettes, VHS, CDs, and DVDs, which are in the deposits of the Slovak National Library, another way of storing data on human communication was added — the piqlFilm.

The cooperation 

Just like other foreign memory institutions, the Slovak National Library has decided to try another possible way to safely preserve the most valuable documents from its holdings for hundreds of years. Since today we can not know exactly in which direction the technology and writing will evolve in two hundred — three hundred years, keeping “our best” on various types of media is an advantage and increases the chances of our descendants to read and decipher today’s texts.

The advantage is that the data stored on film does not have to rely on virtual space, but exclusively on the physical stability of the piqlFilm reel, which was evaluated by several independent tests as durable and difficult to destroy. Digital storage which, in addition, Piql offers is a kind of tool that serves as an opportunity for supplementary security. The data stored on piqlFilm is also visually visible, so it does not depend on the manufacturer itself or special reading devices.

What type of content did you store on piqlFilm

Rare documents, such as “Hlaholské listy hlohovské” from the end of the 13th century, which are considered to be the oldest known texts in Glagolitic found in Slovakia, were archived in duplicate on film. 

Other data included the Bratislava Antiphonary, which is registered in the UNESCO program, stenographic notes (so-called secret script) by Martin Kukučín, Martin Luther’s Bible from the 16th century, Munster’s Cosmographiae Universa, Slovak Bardejov Catechism, and Postill Leonard Stoeckel, which contributed to the formation of Lutheranism in eastern Slovakia and some of the most important points of the 16th century, documenting all areas of life at that time. 

The Slovak National Library has gained five film reels from the collaboration, which are stored in modern air-conditioned SNK spaces with optimal climatic conditions. 

The cooperation was implemented within the piqlFILM-GO project, which is co-financed under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme.