Archives of Hungary

The Hungarian National Archives 

The Hungarian National Archives is central and general archives possessing organs in the counties (branches). The central organisational unit of the Hungarian National Archives is the National Archives of Hungary, while the county archives are its branches. The National Archives of Hungary is the general legal successor of the former county archives which amalgamated in 30 September 2012. Since 1 October 2012 the duties of county archives have been undertaken by the National Archives of Hungary. Furthermore, that time, the name of the said institution was altered for the Hungarian National Archives. Although, the modification has ceased the institutional autonomy of the county archives, the central elements of furnishing public service have not been changed since. The Hungarian National Archives preserves the 80% of all the Hungarian archival records (307000 linear meters of documents). The National Archives of Hungary integrated along with 20 county archives to the new institution. Their professional autonomy remained within the framework of the new system. The enlargement of the records, classifying and preserving them, publication and transfer of information, furthermore publishing books and other materials as well as professional education fall inside the line of the Hungarian National Archives’ duties. The experts and those who are interested in the history are welcome in the researchers’ rooms of the Archives, but 10 million of documents are available through the internet too. The developing e-Archivum of the Hungarian National Archives and the databases make possible for more and more researchers the study of the sources, documents of the last hundred years conveniently at home. Further information: Address: Budapest I. ker. Bécsi kapu tér 2–4. Postal address: 1250 Budapest, Postafiók 3. Telephone: (+36 1) 225 2843 Email: info@mnl.gov.hu Website: http://mnl.gov.hu

The Hungarian National Archives National Archives of Hungary

The National Archives of Hungary (National Archives hereafter) – similar to other public collections and partner institutions (for instance the Hungarian National Museum, National Széchenyi Library) – preserves national treasures. The Archives keeps the largest number of the essential charters records concerned with the last 1000 years of the Hungarian history. The legal predecessor of the National Archives of Hungary was opened in line with the provisions of the Act 45 of 1723, under the name of “Archivum Regni” (The Archives of the Country) in 1756, Pozsony, which was the capital of the country that time. The institution moved in 1784 to Buda. In 1874-75, through expanding its sphere of competence, the Archives became responsible for the records of those governmental offices which had not operated since the Compromise of 1867 as well as the archival documents of the newly established ministries and chief courts. That meant an essential reorganization for the Archives. The institution received that time new name: National Archives of Hungary. Its former department, the New Central Archives of Hungary preserved the documents of the post-1945 period from 1970 to 30 July 1992. Then, according to the Act LXXXIII of 1991 the New Central Archives of Hungary and the National Archives was united under the original name. The National Archives of Hungary has been operating as organ of the Hungarian National Archives. The archival documents related to the central legislative, administrative (except the national defence) and legal bodies as well as the records of the public offices, institutions (except the universities and the colleges), bodies, associations and all those economic bodies, families and individuals which are important in national level fall to the National Archives’ sphere of collection and competence. The Act LXXXIII of 1991 made the Archives responsible for the records of Hungarian Workers’ Party (Magyar Dolgozók Pártja, MDP 1948-1956) and the Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party (Magyar Szocialista Munkáspárt, MSZMP 1956-1989). The task of the institution is the recovery of those records belonging to foreign archives which relate to Hungary as well as the collection of the copies made on these documents. According to the amendment of the Act LXVI of 1995, the records of the former ruling party in the single-party state, the MDP and the MSZMP, as well as the social and youth organisations belonged to them form the possessions of the state. Thus, the public records which had been preserved by the Archives of the Institute of Political History before were taken under the control of the National Archives. By the said Act the records of the Hungarian Workers’ Party (MDP) and the Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party (MSZMP), the documents of the social organisations (Hungarian Partisans’ Union, Hungarian Federation of Resistance Fighters and Antifascists, Democratic Alliance of Hungarian Women, The National Council of Hungarian Women) youth organisations (Hungarian Democratic Youth League, Union of Working Youth, Hungarian Young Communist League, National Association of People’s Colleges, Association of Hungarian Pioneers) of these parties belong to the state possessions just as the documents of the National Council of the Trade Unions, the other trade union councils and the trade unions of several sectors are possessed by the state. Records of the Archives The records – despite that the World War II and the Revolution of 1956 resulted huge damages there – have perpetually increased. Thus, not only the main building (where the documents created before 1945 are housed), but two other buildings are opened for the visitors as well. The first in that order similar to the main building, located in the Buda Castle, in the Hess András tér exactly (the records of the governmental bodies created after 1945 are kept there), while the other one is situated in the Bécsi út, in a building built in 1994 (besides the microfilms, the records of the economic governmental bodies, firms are preserved there). The website of the Archives gives a precise review over the records, here only few crucial items of the collection started with the deed of foundation of Veszprémvölgy issued by King Kálmán in 1109 (which is the transcript of Saint István’s charter in Greek and Latin) are highlighted. Regrettably, the medieval royal archives created before 1526 was dispersed and partly perished by the tempest of the history. The documents of that period are represented by the Archives of Diplomatic containing charters which have been taken from several collections since the end of the last century. Although, these are crucial sources of the medieval history of Hungary, it is necessary to emphasize that the said collection means just some part of the documents created in the medieval Hungary. On the other hand, the Archives has collected large number of copies (Diplomatic Photo Collection) made on charters from Hungarian and foreign archives’ collections. Since 2010 the whole collection of photos has been available on the website of the Archives. Among the records of the period 1526-1867 it is necessary to highlight the archives of the central governmental bodies. The archives of the Chancellery (1526-1848), the Locotential Council (1727-1848), the Hungarian Treasury (1529-1848) and the Hungarian Treasury Archives (containing valuable family, private and ecclesiastical papers, furthermore the series of et conscriptiones, conscriptiones portarum, regesta decimarum), the Szepes Chamber (1551-1813), the Directorate of Legal Affairs (18th-19th century), moreover the Archives of Transylvanian Chancellery (1686-1848), the Transylvanian chapters and governmental authorities (the archives of the Chapter of Gyulafehérvár and the national archives of the Convent of Kolozsmonostor which contain the fragments of the correspondence of the princes of Transylvania, the archives of the Gubernium Transylvanicum and the High Commission, National Audit Office and the Treasury) are vital sources of the public, economic, social and cultural history. The judicial archives created since 1526 (Supreme Court, Personalis, the Protonotary of Palatine and the Lord Chief Justice, the Tavernicus as well as the archives of the District Courts and the fragments remained from the archives of the Transylvanian Royal Court of Appeal) mean a vital source base for the research on legal history. The Archives of the Ministry of 1848-49 includes the records related to the central authorities operated during the Revolution and War of Independence, 1848-49. The documents concerned with the governmental bodies of the age of Austrian absolutism (after the defeat of the Hungarian freedom fighters) as well as the records of the Hungarian and Transylvanian Chancellery (re-established in 1860-61), the Locotential Council, Gubernium can be found in the said archives. It is necessary to note the so called Archivum Regnicolaris which is formed by the records of Archivum Regni (Archives of the Protonotary of Palatine, 1555-1848, the archives of the feudal county, parliamentary records and documents of adjustment the frontiers as well as the national censuses of 1715 and 1720) concerned with the period preceded the reorganisation carried out in 1874. The family archives, moreover the documents of several bodies, associations and masonic organisations are incredibly valuable. The collections housed in the Archives are popular among the researchers. For instance the Collection of Seals which consists of mostly the squeeze mouldings of the seals created before 1526. The seal mouldings of the post-1526 period are preserved there as well. Among them the documents belonging to two important figures of the history of Hungary in the 19th century: Lajos Kossuth and György Klapka, are the most valuable ones. The parliamentary papers and documents related to the administrative and legal organisations can be found among the records of parliament and the central governmental bodies of the late modern period (1867-1944) succeeded the Compromise of 1867. According to their importance, the Archives of the Prime Minister’s Office, the Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (since 1918), Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Trade and Ministry of Agriculture are highlighted. The records of the Archives concerned with the post-1945 decades are steadily growing. The records of the Hungarian Workers’ Party (MDP) and the Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party (MSZMP) preserved among the documents of the period, 1948-1989 which were transferred to the Archives in 1992. The records of the political parties’ central, regional bodies and their units in Budapest and Pest County are one of the most crucial sources of that age. The collection of the documents dealing with the top organisations, such as the Board, the Central and Political Committee, the Secretariat and the papers of Kádár János (kept separately) are remarkable. Records (preserved by the National Archives of Hungary) concerned with economics are essential in case of researching the economic history of Hungary. Documents created from the 17th century up to present days can be found among them. It is necessary to highlight in that category the fonds of the Hungarian National Bank, the Central Corporation of Banking Companies, and the banks which were nationalised after the World War II (for instance the Hungarian General Credit Bank Co., Hungarian Commercial Bank of Pest Co.) other banking institutions, moreover mining and industrial companies. The National Archives possesses rich microfilm collection. The particular Hungarian history (Turkish rule for 150 years after 1526; the isolation of Transylvania in the 16-19th centuries; Hungary was part of the Habsburg Empire, then the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy till 1918) makes important the collection of the copies of records related to Hungary but kept in foreign archives. As the result of research carried out in the neighbouring and other European countries as well as in the United States, documents belonging to several foreign fonds are available in microfilms in the Archives. The National Archives of Hungary performs extensive publication, the issues of the institution: http://www.mnl.gov.hu/bal_menusor/hasznalat/kiadvanyok.html Databases: http://www.mol.gov.hu/bal_menusor/hasznalat/segedletek/adatbazisok.html Further information: I Central Building Address: 1014 Budapest, Bécsi kapu tér 2-4. Postal address: 1250 Budapest, Pf. 3. Telephone: (+36 1) 225-2800 (central), (+36 1) 225-2840 (researchers’ room) Fax: (+36 1) 225-2817 Email: info@mnl.gov.hu Building II Address: 1014 Budapest, Hess András tér 5. Postal address: 1250 Budapest, Pf. 3. Telephone: 225-2860 (central), 225-2887 (researchers’ room) Fax: 225-2892 Email: hesskutato@mnl.gov.hu Building III Address: Budapest, Lángliliom u. 4. Postal address: 1250 Budapest, Pf. 3. Telephone: 437-0660 Fax: 437-0695 Email: okut@mnl.gov.hu Building IV Address: Budapest, Úri u. 54-56. Postal address: 1250 Budapest, Pf. 3 Telephone: (+36 1) 355-6857 (restoration lab), (+36 1) 356-1249 (bookbindery) Website: www.mnl.gov.hu

There are no data remained about the conditions of preserving the records of the medieval Buda and Pest cities and only few documents are kept in the Archives from the period before 1686. The official documents regarding the regenerated city were held initially by the major or the notary, and then the municipal chancellery housed them. In line with the royal measures during the 18th century appointments were carried out for occupying archiviarius positions moreover safety way of preserving the documents in the city hall and its order were arranged as well. After 1873, the year of unification Buda and Pest, the archival documents were housed in apart from the old city hall of Pest, in the unused basement of the city hall of Buda, then in 1887 in the Újvárosháza [New City Hall] too. At the turn of the 19th and 20th century the Central City Hall was moved to the Károly Barracks, where even a strong-room was available for keeping the records, but the prospective needs for storage were left out of consideration. The next most remarkable proceeding was the rescue of the vast collection, which were placed in the undercroft of the St Stephen’s Basilica during the World War II in 1943-44; while the most valuable documents were put under the custody of the National Bank of Hungary. After adventures in West, these records were taken back in undamaged state. However the bulk of those which remained in the City Hall were perished during the siege. Along with others the copies of the state registers, the collection of bylaws, and the archives of foundations were destroyed by flames. Furthermore, the records series (created in the interwar period) of several municipal departments were damaged badly as well. From the World War II until the 1960s only the workrooms were available in the central building of the city management for the Archives. Thus some records of the Archives stayed permanently in the Basilica, where offices were established then. In the 1960s owing to the renovation of the City Hall and building of new repositories, the high level of crowdedness was slightly decreased. The most precious medieval documents were moved back to the restored store of the City Hall. The Municipial Council resolved to establish a new building for the Archives in order to solve finally the problems with housing, in 1972 as part of preparation for the centenary of the unification of Buda and Pest. The building of the Magyar Szentföld Church (located in II. ker. Heinrich István u.) was designated for being a temporary home of the most endangered part of the records held in the Basilica. The Church is just half-built, but due to its oval cupola it has been classified as a historic monument. After the enthusiasm around the centenary lessened, the establishment of a new building did not come into question and in 1976 the finalisation of that department was resolved. In the 1970s apart from the repositories, microfilm reading room, restoration lab and bookbindery were founded as well. The documents suffered in the undercroft of the Basilica were disinfected and along with other record groups the bulk of records belonging to the Archives were moved to the reconstructed building of the former Misura coach-factory in Józsefváros district located in the Leonardo da Vinci köz. However that did not mean the final solution of the housing, thus the leadership of the institution rose the issue of establishing a unified, central building for the Archives. In 1998 the Teve utca located in the XIII. kerület [district] was chosen for that purpose, and the tender for the planned building in it was won by Budai Építész Műhely under the leadership of János Koris. The fact that the Municipality Budapest bore exclusively the burdens made possible the implementation of the plan. Gábor Demszky, mayor of Budapest laid the foundation-stone in 11 October 2002, and the new establishment was opened in 2004. The Budapest City Archives keeps 33000 linear meters of documents, preserves and delivers them for researchers and customers in the new building which possesses 23440 m2 of net area. The experts in 2012 honoured with Archive of the Year Prize the Archive’s high quality work carried out in the field of processing and research. The researchers, who are the genuine customers of the archives, have respected the continuous augmentation and gradual development of the Research Enquiry and Customer Service. In 2013 the Budapest City Archives was awarded with the Research Centre of the Year Prize founded by the Hungarian Society for Family History Research.

Further Information Address:
1139 Budapest Teve u. 3-5.
Postal address: 1554 Budapest Pf. 41
Telephone: +36-1/298-7500 (Reception – Centre) +36-1/298-7517 (Secretariat) Fax: 298-7555 (Secretariat)
Email: bfl@bparchiv.hu Website: www.bparchiv.hu
Customer Service: +36-1/298-7501, 7502 Email: bfl@bparchiv.hu Duty hours Monday: 13:00-16:00 Tuesday: closed Wednesday: 9:00-16:00 Thursday: closed Friday: 9:00-13:00
Research Enquiry: +36-1/298/7503,7504 Email: kutato@bparchiv.hu Opening Hours: Monday: 9:00-16:00 Tuesday: 10:00-19:00 Wednesday: 9:00-16:00 Thursday: 10:00-19:00 Friday: closed Research room of the Plan Collection: +36-1/298/7514 Email: kutato@bparchiv.hu Opening hours Monday: 9:00-16:00 Tuesday: 10:00-19:00 Wednesday: 9:00-16:00 Thursday: 10:00-19:00 Friday: closed
Secretary General: dr Katalin Fazekasné Toma Telephone: +36-1/298-7523 Email: tomak@bparchiv.hu

 

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