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The Hungarian National Archives Hajdú-Bihar County Archives

The records housed in the Hungarian National Archives (HNA) Hajdú-Bihar County Archives provide insight to the history of Debrecen, the former Bihar and Hajdú County [comitat] as well as the settlements located there. The Archives possesses currently two research centres: the Central and another one which is situated in the Kossuth utca, Debrecen. The branch archives in Hajdúböszörmény has been running since 1981 and Hajdúböszörmény, Hajdúnánás, Hajdúdorog, Polgár, Folyás, Görbeháza, Tiszagyulaháza, Újtikos settlements belong to its sphere of collection. Furthermore, the archival documents of the Hajdú District as well as the copies of the denominational or state registers belonging to the settlements of the County are kept there.

Diplomas and charters created even much before the battle of Mohács (1526) have been preserved from the historical archive of Debrecen city. The oldest of them was written in 1294 and remained as prebendar copy. Apart from the numerous diplomas the minutes of the city council (1547-1848) are completely available which contribute the research of the city’s history. Beside the historically and aesthetically incomparable documents belonging to the guilds of Debrecen, the series of the secret archive’s documents and the manuscript maps (dated from 1750) are incredibly important as well. The records created by the City Council Debrecen mean inexhaustible sources of the economic, social, political and cultural history. The medieval and early modern records of Bihar County were perished when the Turkish sieged Nagyvárad in 1660, thus the minutes of the county’s noble assemblies remained only from 1688. Further decrease in the documentation of the County was resulted in consequence of the Treaty of Trianon, by which the app. two third of the County’s territory and the county seat, Nagyvárad were annexed to Rumania. Despite of that, significant amount of records related to the county, settlements, administration and several institutions remained in the Archives. Some of these documents have been never examined by scholars yet.

The archive of the Hajdú District preserves charters and documents granted rights dated from 1605. The minutes kept from 1694, moreover the registers of the Hajdú society created 1707-1848 are crucial sources. Among the Hajdú towns the records of Hajdúböszörmény, Hajdúnánás and Hajdúszoboszló are available almost completely. Almost complete documentation of the Hajdú County (which was formed by unification of several municipal authorities in 1876 with seat in Debrecen) was taken under the custody of the State Archives of Debrecen (Hajdú-Bihar County Archives since 1968). Among the records belonging to the local bodies of national authorities, the documents regarding the boards of land-measuring, Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Debrecen, Regional Superintendence of Schools of Debrecen are highlighted. In the field of administration of justice the records of the Court of Justice of Bihar County, Royal Court of Appeal of Debrecen and the Royal Court of Justice of Debrecen, while among the institutions of higher education the records related to the legal predecessors of the University of Debrecen and the Academy of Economics are incredibly important. By means of Debrecen as a city possessing several educational institutions, the fonds of the high and elementary schools containing documents dated from the 19th century form abundant sources. For the genealogists the Collection of Documents of Nobility is an essential source of information, especially the bequests of three archivists: Lajos Osváth, Lajos Reszeghy and Gábor Herpay.
The Archives, which has been functioning as an academic institution since 1969, apart from the separate publications it has been editing several series: Hajdú-Bihar Megyei Levéltár Évkönyve [Yearbook of the Hajdú-Bihar County Archives] (since 1974), Hajdú-Bihar Megyei Levéltár Közleményei [Publications of the Hajdú-Bihar County Archives] (since 1972) Hajdú-Bihar Megyei Levéltár Forráskiadványai [Sourcebooks of the Hajdú-Bihar County Archives] (since 1979), a Hajdú-Bihar Megyei Levéltár Levéltári Dokumentációi [Archival Documentations of the Hajdú-Bihar County Archives] (since 1987) Levéltári Füzetek [Archival Issues] (since 2010) and the Régiókutatás [Regional Science] (since 2011) e-book.
The Archive has been organizing every year since 1973 the Archival Days of Hajdú-Bihar County festival. Furthermore, it has organized numerous conferences alone or in cooperation with other institutions. In 2013 an exhibition which represented the history of the history of the Archvies was installed in the central building. That exhibition is developed perpetually. The travelling and periodical exhibitions of the Archives are set regularly places within and out of the borders of Hajdú-Bihar County, moreover our colleagues give presentations on the Archives continuously and hold irregular history classes in the Archives as well as in the educational institutions of the County.

Further Information:
Central Building
Address: 4024 Debrecen, Vármegyeháza u. 1/B.
Postal address: 4001 Debrecen, Pf.: 39.
Telephone: +36 52 503 296 (Secretariat), +36 52 503 297 (Research Enquiry)
Mobil phone: +36 20 311 4621

Research Centre in the Kossuth utca
Address: 4024 Debrecen, Kossuth u. 12-14.
Mobil phone: +36 20 311 2556, +36 30 637 7973

Hajdúböszörmény Branch Archives
Address: 4220 Hajdúböszörmény, Dorogi u. 5.
Postal address: 4221 Hajdúböszörmény, Pf.: 71.
Mobil phone: +36 30 637 7974