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The Archives of the Archdiocese of Kalocsa

Presumably the Diocese of Kalocsa was one of the first bishoprics established by Saint Stephen of Hungary in 1002. In the person of Astrik, it was headed by one of the strongest supporters of the king. Probably it was due to him that the bishopric was promoted to the rank of archbishopric, in all probability already in Saint Stephen’s lifetime. In the beginning Kalocsa was the centre of the medieval archbishopric; later, from the 1090s the archbishops lived in the castle of Bács. That is the origin of the double name, which was retained until 1968: Archbishopric of Kalocsa-Bács. After the First World War two-thirds of the diocese’s parishes got outside the Hungarian borders. Until 1923 the parts in Bácska were governed by the Vicar of the Archbishop of Kalocsa, then the Holy See established the Subotica (Bács) Apostolic Administration, which became a bishopric in 1968. Due to the provision of Pope John Paul II, the diocese was increased by new territories on the North and its name was changed, too. From this time onwards the Archdiocese of Kalocsa-Kecskemét is contiguous with the territory of Bács-Kiskun County.

The medieval archives of the Archbishopric and the Chapter were almost completely devastated after the Turkish occupation of 1529; only several records were replaced through collection by the archbishops of modern times. The collection of the modern archbishopric archives can be considered continuous since the period of Archbishop Gábor Patachic (1733–1745). The protocols of the archbishops can be found from 1733 and an index was created to them. The archives were moved to the new building of the Seminar in 1765, under Archbishop József Batthyány (1760–1776) and the first systematic catalogue was made at this time, too. At the beginning of the 19th century the archives and its furnishing were moved to the ground floor of the western wing; at present the greater part of the material can be found there. After a few changes in the second half of the 19th century the permanent system of record management (according to current number, subject-heading) was formed and the earlier records were also integrated into the system. The methodical mid-level classification of the material was completed in the 1990s.

The material of the archives of the Chapter, starting from the 18th century, was stored in the Cathedral, in the rooms above the chapter sacristy and it was moved to the archbishop’s palace about 1950. Apart from the private documents regarding the body of the chapter, there are the records of administering the foundation and the records of the chapter’s estate; also, as a separate unit, the archives of the place of authentication. The latter was nationalized in 1950 and in January 1973 moved to Kecskemét, to the Bács-Kiskun County Archives. At the request of the Archbishop and the Grand Provost it was returned to Kalocsa in September 1997.

The economic archives consist of the documents collected by the organs of the archiepiscopal estate (protector’s office, engineering office, audit office); these cover the period from the reorganization of the diocese after the Ottoman occupation of Hungary to the 1945 land reform. Its map collection helps to follow the changes of the agricultural holdings of the archiepiscopate. The material of the economic archives, including the records that were

collected from the barn of the former engineering office and the archiepiscopate’s records concerning the estate, got to their recent storage place in 1986 and kept in the house of Canon István Katona, historian. Between 1986 and 1999 it was administered by the Municipality of Kalocsa, then in 2000 the archival material together with the building became church property and part of the Archives of the Archdiocese.


Further information:

Address: 6300 Kalocsa, Szentháromság tér 1.

Postal address: 6301 Kalocsa, Pf. 29.

Phone: +36 78 467 363, +36 30 602 2191

Fax: +36 78 465 280