Miklos Tamási, founder of Fortepan, launched the free online photo archive after finding a collection of pictures in a pile of garbage on a Hungarian curbside. He named the site after the Forte film factories in Hungary, and debuted it in 2010 with 5,000 images. Since then, Fortepan has quickly expanded. Today it contains over 114,000 photographs taken by Hungarians between the years 1900 and 1990, and its first-ever exhibit opened in April at the Hungarian National Gallery.
Fortepan’s manager András Török shared the archive’s story last week while lecturing at Manhattan’s American-Hungarian Library.