At the beginning of the 13th c. the Order of the Canons Regular of Prémontré, which followed the Rule of St Augustine, had a dozen of provostships in Hungary. Probably the Saint Michael Archangel Provostry (Abbey) of Csorna was one of them. According to the tradition tracing back to the 18th century, it was founded in 1180; although its first known reference is in a 1226 document. The monastic life was interrupted for the first time in the mid-16th century.
From 1542 the Provostry of Csorna had only commanders with a benefice. In 1694 Franz von Schöllingen, the Norbertine Abbot of Pernegg, Lower Austria, acquired it as royal donation. Then in 1711 the Hradisch (Hradisko) Abbey (near the city of Olomouc) took it over and after that date its provosts were elected there. In 1786 Joseph II closed this monastery, too, but in 1802 Emperor Frances I re-established the independent Abbey of Csorna. The provostships of Türje and Jánoshida were ceased and attached to the Abbey of Csorna. In exchange for it the Norbertines undertook the maintenance of the secondary schools in Szombathely and Keszthely. In 1950 the Communist regime interned the canons and ceased the Abbey. Those Norbertine monks who were still alive were allowed to return to Csorna only in 1989.
The past of the Archives of the Abbey was fundamentally determined by the 1231 law, which made it a place of authentication (locus credibilis). The first known document was issued here in 1247; its activities covered above all the area of Sopron County. When the Turks devastated Csorna in 1529 and later in 1594, the Archives suffered serious losses. From 1594 the activities as a place of authentication were suspended but in 1656 were re-started and continued till 1874 (with the exception of the 1787–1810 period, when the archives of the place of authentication were relocated in the Győr Cathedral Chapter). The protocols of the archives of the place of authentication survived from 1535 onwards.
The modern system of the private archives of the Provostry developed from the second half of the 19th century. Dózsa Pozsgay was the first to classify and catalogue the most important documents of the Archives in 1873. The registration of the documents of the Provostry started from 1884 but there were certain years when it was completed ex post. Those documents that were left out of both sets of documents were classified and registered between 1937 and 1939 by Alajos Wagner archivist and director.
After the Norbertines had left Csorna in 1950, the material of the archives of the place of authentication and the private archives were relocated in the Sopron State Archives. After the collapse of the communist dictatorship, in 1996 the Provostry asked for the return of its documents. In 1997 the ministry decided to return the private archives and rank it as open private archives. Earlier the documents had been held in Sopron unclassified; it was decided to return them after classification. For this reason the first part of the archives was returned to Csorna in October 1999 and the second part, which comprised mainly the economic documents, only in November 2004. However, the archives of the place of authentication remained in Sopron.
Address: 9300 Csorna, Soproni út 65.