International Identifier for serials
and other continuing resources, in the electronic and print world


Judith Zoltánné Szilvássy, former Acting Director of the ISSN International Centre, died in Budapest, Hungary, on 25 February 2020 at the age of ninety.



Judith Zoltánné Szilvássy began her career as a librarian at the Central Library of the Budapest University of Technology from 1951 to 1957. She then worked at the Széchényi National Library from 1958 to 1991. She devoted her life and work to librarianship. She led important projects such as the establishment of the Hungarian ISDS Centre, which became the Hungarian ISSN Centre in the 1990s, the modernization of the Central Catalogue of Foreign Journals, and the launch of the National Periodicals Database (NPA). In 1990, when Hungary became a member of the Council of Europe, Judith Zoltánné Szilvássy was invited to establish the Council of Europe Information and Documentation Centre within the Hungarian Parliamentary Library. She headed this centre until 1998.

Her professional career has also been remarkable in the international arena: she served on the Board of the ISDS including as president, later the Governing Board of ISSN International Centre, from 1976 to 1992. In 1987, after the sudden death of Marie Rosenbaum, Director and Founder of the ISDS International Centre, she was Acting Director of the Centre for one year. Thanks to her language skills (English, French and German), Judith Zoltánné Szilvássy has carried out several international missions at the request of UNESCO, the Council of Europe, ISO (International Organization for Standardization) and IFLA.

Her main area of interest was periodical management. IFLA’s Serial Publications Section, which later became the Serial Publications and Other Continuing Resources Section (SOCRS), entrusted her with editing a manual on periodicals which was published in 1996 under the title Basic Serials Management Handbook. This manual has been translated into several languages (French, Russian, Spanish). It was also published in Hungarian in 2006 with updated content. By teaching librarianship to her young colleagues, she has shared her experience and knowledge with the new generation of librarians.

Judith Zoltánné Szilvássy’s career is recounted in an interview she gave in 2015 to Gaëlle Béquet, the current director of the ISSN International Centre, on the occasion of the fortieth anniversary of the ISSN system. Judith Zoltánné Szilvássya was already retired but showed an enduring interest in her profession. The interview was published in the special issue of the journal Ciência da informação (No. 44, 2015) of the Instituto Brasileiro de Informação em Ciência e Tecnologia (IBICT), which manages the ISSN Centre in Brazil. The interview is available online.

The ISSN International Centre extends its condolences to the family and colleagues of Judith Zoltánné Szilvássy.


Director of ISSN International Centre to chair 2020 ISO TC46 Annual Meeting (11-15 May 2020, remote)

Gaëlle Béquet, Director of the ISSN International Centre, will chair the 2020 ISO TC46 Annual Meeting that will take place remotely due to the current COVID-19 pandemic. More than thirty meetings are scheduled online to discuss current standardization initiatives.


Note to publishers requesting ISSN assignments from the ISSN Network

Due to the COVID-19 global outbreak and health and social measures imposed by several national authorities, ISSN National Centres and their hosting institutions may encounter technical and operational issues. This particular situation may have an impact on the timely management of publishers’ ISSN requests and ISSN assignments. Unfortunately, the ISSN International Centre cannot currently replace impacted ISSN National Centres and manage all ISSN requests and assignments. If ISSN National Centres and their hosting institutions are temporary closed due to this crisis, the ISSN International Centre invites publishers to be patient and renew their requests regularly. We thank you for your understanding.