How can I get to the Budapest City Archives?
  • It is the easiest to get to the Budapest City Archives by metro and tram. Take the metro line M3 (blue), get off at the stop “Árpád híd”, then get out from the underground through the exit called “Róbert Károly körút” and walk 150 meters. Turn left at the corner of Róbert Károly Boulevard and the Teve Street and walk 150 meters on the right side of the street.
  • Take the tram line 1 and get off at the stop “Árpád híd”, then get through the crosswalk to the Teve Street. Walk on the right side of the street to the building of the Archives.

Find the approach map in the Contacts menu.

How can I research in the Budapest City Archives (hence BCA)?

Those who are not Hungarian citizens can do research in the Archives as well, in case they approve and observe the operative laws regarding the protection and management of data.

 

The scholarly study of archival materials including personal data can be permitted for researchers from countries which provide appropriate protection of data even before the termination of the time of protection defined by paragraph 24 (1) of the law regulating the operation of the archives, on condition of the termination of 30 or 15 years defined by the paragraph 22 (1). The research can be permitted if the researchers submits the support statement created (in line with the detailed research plan) by the committee or institution of the Hungarian Academy of Science competent in the given research subject. Furthermore, the researchers are required to assume by written declaration the handling and usage of the studied and collected personal data according to their countries’ privacy regulations. Even in this case they can get the documents without anonymization, if the laws of their countries protect the privacy in the same way and extent as the Hungarian regulations.

 

The archival documents are available only after the registration.

How much does the registration cost?

The registration and study of the documents are cost free.

The researchers need to pay only for the reprographic services provided by the Archives (photocopying, scanning, photo ticket)

 

How can I register?

You can register in person and online as well.

In case of the former you are required to fill a form in the research room of the Archives, then the staff members of the Research Enquiry inform you abou the Research Regulation. You can order documents only after this.

For registration you need to have an identification document (identification card, passport) and a residence card in case you reside in Hungary. The staff members of the Research Enquiry inspect the data of these documents in order to verification and reconciliation.

Online Registration: Step by Step

First of all you need to register on the Digital Archives Portal. (It is not researcher registration in itself!)
The online researcher registration can be carried out by filling the Researcher Registration Form: follow the steps described in this document. If you need further help with the registration, feel free to write to the Research Enquiry of the Archive’s (kutato@bparchiv.hu).

Following the online registration, in the event of your first visit in the Archives you need to sign the paper form as well as to present the identification documents.

 

Can I register and order documents by phone?

The registering is not possible by phone, nor the ordering. All orders shall be noted and submitted to the Research Enquiry (online or in person in the research rooms).

How can I get the data of my ancestors?

If the person you look for lived in the current territory of Budapest, the study of the following collections is recommended:

- tallies of parish registers (divided by regions; no index). The researchability of the parish registers created by the state was modified on 1 July 2014. Thus it is advisable to consult with the staff members of the Research Enquiry on the range of researchable parish registers before starting the research.

- judicial documents

- school registers

- property registers, designs

- general administrative documents (documents of the predecessors of the current local governments)

- economic documents (created by firms)

- electoral rolls . If you know the contemporary address of the studied person, you can get birth data. The electoral rolls provide information for the researchers about the period 1935−1954.

- industry registers (guilds, prefectural and municipal industry registers, documents of guilds)

Where can I find further details about the documents?
Where can I find the repository guides?

The repository guides can be found in the archival recording system in an order according to the archival hierarchy.

The archival materials are categorized into main groups of fond (Roman numerals) including fonds (Arabic number) which include subgroups (Latin lowercase, sometimes Arabic numerals). Some subgroups contain series.

The Part III of the Researcher Guide explains the use of the repository guides and the steps of ordering.

Only those orders can be accepted and accomplished which are marked with proper archival reference. (Main group of fond, fond, subgroup, series, storage unit or file number/year)

The Archives do not bear responsibility for the improper orders, thus it is advisable to check the filled form before submitting. In case the need of any kind of reconciliation regarding your order, the staff members of the Research Enquiry will inform you.

Why can’t I find the document online?

Bringing a series of documents to scannable condition is an extremely time consuming work (restoration, page numbering, listing the files). The scanning in itself is only one step of the process. Although the digitalizing instruments of the Archives have been developed in the recent period, but the capacity of them is suitable “only” for making few hundred thousand records, while the page number of the kept documents is on the order of hundreds of millions. During the post-production the proper naming and ordering of the files require carefulness.

Database creation is a labour-intensive activity, hence the overwhelming majority of the input data are handwritten in archaic style. Thus these texts are hard reading in some parts.

Digitalizing and database building is carried out constantly in our Archives.

How large are the documents kept in the BCA?

If one juxtaposed the documents, the line would be 35 km long.

You can watch a video concerned with our Archives and the archival work here.

 

What kinds of parish registers are held in the BCA?

Till 30 September 1895 only the churches performed registering (in case of christening, wedding and death). Among these only the data of those parts of Budapest which belonged to the city before 1950 are available through the computers of the research room in microfilms or digitalized form in different quantity depending on the given place or denomination. The archival reference of the microfilms: XV.20.2. - Follow this link

These microfilms and those which include the church parish registers of the settlements annexed to Budapest in 1950 can be found in the Lángliliom Street Department of The Hungarian National Archives National Archives of Hungary. - Follow this link

-           It is worth to note that the fragments of church parishes of the settlements belonged to Budapest before 1950 (for example: Rákoscsaba, Kispest, Újpest) are kept in our Archives as well under the reference XXXIII.5. You can find the related repository guide here.

-           The Archives keeps the tallies (created between 1 October 1895 and 31 December 1980) belonging to the state parish registers of the city’s whole current territory (christenings, marriages and burials). Their archival reference: XXXIII.1.a (volume). Almost the whole collection of the parish registers is available in microfilms and in digitalized form. The so called Parish Register Act was amended on 1 July 2014 which crucially modified the frame of the research. Following the amendment our Archives changed the possibilities of researching these documents. The instruction of the Director-General regarding this issue can be read here.

Warning: the administrative districts and the divisions of the parish registers frequently differed from each other!

How can I research in the parish registers?

In case of the church parish registers accidently few indexes can be found.

Warning: the numbers indicated next to the names refers for the page number of the given volumes and not for the sorting number of the registry.

For the successful research in the parish registers you need to know few information about the person you look for:

  • denominational affiliation
  • residence - city (before 1873 Pest, Buda, Óbuda),
  • residence – district (there were no districts before 1873!),
  • congregation.

The state parish registers don’t have indexes! One can research them only by physical or virtual superimposition.

Which years of the tallies of the parish registers are open for research?

There is no restriction regarding the church parish registers.

In case of the state parish registers according to the laws in force:

-           birth certificates: 130 years after the creation of the document

-           marriage certificates: 86 years after the creation of the document

-           death certificate: 30 years after the creation of the document.

How long was the denominational affiliation registered in the state parish registers?

Till 31 December 1949.

Why only those tallies of the state parish registers are researchable which were created till 31 December 1980?

The creation of tallies of the state parish churches was ended on 1 January 1981.

How can I research the parish registers created since 1980?

These registers are held by the competent registrar. The research of these registers is not permitted. You need to ask the competent registry office for the register.

Can I have a certified copy (parish register) of the found data of the parish register?

The Archives can not create a certified copy of data of parish registers. Only the registry offices are authorized to issue any kind of genuine certification of data of parish registers.

Which court’s documents are researchable in the BCA?

Documents of courts, tribunals, prosecutor’s offices, penitentiaries, reformatories and notaries operated in the territory of Budapest, as well as in Buda, Pest and Óbuda before the unification of the city.

These series were created in different periods from the end of the 17th century (1680s) till the last quarter of the 20th century (approx. 1980s).

Which court’s documents are researchable in the BCA?

Documents of courts, tribunals, prosecutor’s offices, penitentiaries, reformatories and notaries operated in the territory of Budapest, as well as in Buda, Pest and Óbuda before the unification of the city.

These series were created in different periods from the end of the 17th century (1680s) till the last quarter of the 20th century (approx. 1980s).

 

Where can I find further information about the judicial documents?

The documents of the courts and the notaries are available query through the Archival Recording System (scopeQuery) on our website or by searching on our database published on the Hungaricana Cultural Heritage Portal. In case of unsuccessful search please feel free to ask the staff members of the Research Enquiry.

The processing hasn’t been finished yet, thus you can find out the further courses of the research through the repository guides concerned with the main groups of fond IV, V, VII and XXV.

The given expert can give you further information about the series which incorporate almost 300 years (!).

How can I research the court’s documents?

Most of the documents created in the 20th century can be delivered respecting the laws protecting the personal data.

 

What sort of school registers are held in the BCA?

Documents of the institutions operated or currently operating in Budapest and kept by the city (capital):

  • general administrative documents
  • parish registers
  • rarely class registers
What kind of documents can be found in the BCA regarding properties?

The BCA keeps different architectural designs, building permissions, property registers taken from the Land Registry Office as well as the documents of the engineering and building departments of the former district councils.

How can I research the designs?

The designs created before 1873 as well as the plans of Miklós Ybl are researchable in digitalized form partly online, partly through the computers of the BCA’s research room.

-           Those documents and designs concerned with the building permits which were created before 1873 can be researched by the current topographical number. You can learn through the search tool of our website (here, the "Budapesti helyrajzi szám kereső" panel) that whether the BCA keeps any design or document regarding the building existed or still existing in the territory of the given topographical number. If the BCA possesses the said documents, you can study them in the research room of the Archives of the Architectural Designs.

-           If you know the address (name of the street and house number) of the given building, or in case of a public facility the name of the institution, you can search for the designs through the Archival Recording System.  It is advisable to search there for the designs of the city’s public facilities (primary schools, market halls). You can study the found designs you’re interested in after the registration and the ordering in our Great Research Room.

-           The documents concerned with the Engineering or Building Departments of the local governments of the districts – formerly the councils – are researchable as well. Regarding one part of the documents we have registers of the pieces. In case of the others, you can research them with the assistance of the original indexes, if you know roughly the date of the permission. Regarding the districts, the technical documents taken by the BCA covers different periods. The Research Enquiry can give information about which districts gave documents from which period to the Archives. The range of these documents permanently widens.

What sort of property registers (concerned with the ownership) are held in the BCA?

Collections of land registers

Physical Reference

Microfilm Reference*

Title

Date

XV.37.a

XV.20.52

Land Register files of Buda

1854-1921

XV.37.d

 

Land Register Files of Buda (DJP Series)

1921-1949

XV.37.b

XV.20.53

Land Register Files of Óbuda

1854-1921

XV.37.c

 

Land Register Files of Pest

1878-1926

XV.37.d

 

(Land Registration Documents of Rákospalota)

1885-1934

XV.37.d

 

(Land Register Files of Újpest)

1883-1950

XV.37.d

 

Land Register Files of Budapest

(1883)1921-1972

XV.37.e

 

Land Certificates of the Properties of Budapest

1971-

XV.37.f

 

Documents of Land Registration of Budapest**

 1961-1972

* Researchable only in microfilm!

**  The documents – because of the included personal data – can be viewed only if you have proper right of access. The documents of the land registration of Budapest created before 1961 can’t be found in the Archives, neither in the competent land registry offices. The documents of the land registration created since 1972 are kept by the land registry offices.

*** The land certificates held in the Archives are closed, the recording in them finished. In order to get a certificate of the valid land registration you still need to ask the competent land registration office.

The digital copy of the closed land certifications in paper which were given to the Archives – except the documents of the Districts V and XIV – are available in the Land Registration Office. Thus, in case of certifying the status of land registration since 1973 you still need to ask the competent land registration offices. The deeds of foundations of condominiums are remained in the land registration offices.

The listed ones are only the most researched series of land registers. We have such a registers regarding Pest and Buda from the end of the 1680s as well. The experts can give you further information about these early series.

What are the administrative documents?

Documents of the city’s leading and administrative bodies and the institutions belong to them. Such as:

  • General Assembly of Budapest
  • City councils, prefectures, local governments and their official bodies
  • Municipal councils

 

Where can I find information about these documents?

In the Archival Recording System, in the repository guides exactly.

These documents and their guides can be found in the main groups of fond IV, V, XXIII.

Regarding that these documents incorporate 300 years, you get further information from experts of the given period.

What are the firm and company documents?

Documents of enterprises, companies, businesses (e.g. general partnership, Ltd., Inc.) operated in Budapest before 1950, and the public companies operated after 1950.

What kind of economic documents are held in the BCA?

Registry court documents (1876-1948)

Documents of companies and businesses (1776-1999)

Where can I find further information about these documents?

In the repository guides of the Archival Recording System.

These series of documents can be found in the main groups of fond VII, XI and XXIX.

By the industry registers (18-19th, mostly 20th centuries) one can find such persons who carried out local industrial and trading activities. It is important to know the district where the given person worked.

 

Where can I find more information about these documents?

In the repository guides of the Archival Recording System.