Socialist period (documents of the councils and the Communist Party)


The minutes of the capital based leading bodies of the Hungarian Working People’s Party (HWPP) and the Hungarian Socialist Workers Party (HSWP) are unavoidable sources of any research concerned with Budapest. These digitalized documents are available in searchable PDF files. One can research them by the assistance of the agenda registers created for the meetings. The council and party archontology reviews the office holders of the party and the councils of Budapest regarding the socialist period. Currently the data of the leaders and the most important officeholders of the Budapest Council, the District Committees of the Districts I, II, III, IV, V, VI and VIII are available in the database.

Minutes of the Leading Bodies of the HWPP and the HSWP

All the crucial political decisions were made in the leading bodies of the state party between 1948-1990. Although the decision making in a state level was furnished in the smallest circle of the top leaders, the local leading bodies, among them the Budapest Committees of the HWPP and the HSWP had considerably wide margin for manoeuvre in the local cases which belonged to the sphere of competence. Thus the minutes of the meetings of these local authorities are one of the valuable sources of the said period. The study of the later materials is unavoidable for those who are interested in the history of the capital in the socialist period. Moreover, these documents are abundant source of information for the scholars of the history of our country.

The staff of the Party Records Group of the Budapest City Archives created indexes of agendas for every minutes of meetings which have been published in four volumes. The history of HSWP’s organs in Budapest is summarized in the paper Gerhard Péter–Koltai Gábor–V. László Zsófia–Rácz Attila: A Magyar Szocialista Munkáspárt fővárosi vezetése 1957–1989 közöttA párt szervezete és tisztségviselőinek archontológiája (Levéltári Közlemények vol. 83 no. 1, 211–293).

With the assistance of the Arcanum Ltd and the support of the National Cultural Fund between 2007-2010 the following materials of the leading bodies of the HWPP and the HSWP of the capital in more than 121,000 pages were digitalized:

HU BFL XXXV.1.a.1.Minutes of the Budapest Temporary Syndicate of the  HSWP1956–1957729
HU BFL XXXV.1.a.2.Minutes of the party meetings of the Budapest HSWP1957–19895,872
HU BFL XXXV.1.a.3.Minutes of the Budapest Committee of the HSWP1956–198916,033
HU BFL XXXV.1.a.4.Minutes of the Budapest Executive Committee of the HSWP1957–198967,564
HU BFL XXXV.95.a. 1–4. őe.Minutes of the party meetings of the Budapest HWPP1950–19541,128
HU BFL XXXV.95.a. 5–11. őe.Minutes of the Budapest Party Committee of the HWPP (Board of the Party till 1954)1948–19551,789
HU BFL XXXV.95.a. 12–131. őe.Minutes of the Budapest Executive Committee of the HWPP (Party Committee till 1954)1948–195625,118
HU BFL XXXV.95.a. 132–143. őe.Minutes of the Budapest Secretariat of the HWPP1948–19542.987
 Grand Total:1948–1989121,220

The documents have been digitized through OCR method in two-layer PDF format, which makes it possible to search not only the agenda items but the full text of the minutes. The created indexes of agendas are a table of contents of the meetings.

The digitalized materials are available on the Hungaricana Cultural Heritage Portal. The recommended place of the research is the Hungarian Archival Portal, because the items on agendas of each meeting are directly accessible through page number links located in the said indexes which are the faces of the digitalized pages.

The published minutes do not include pages subject to privacy restrictions. These can be studied in the research room of the Budapest City Archives against support statement. As an alternative the researcher possessing the required statement can ask the upload of the ordered materials to his or her own account on the Digital Archives Portal.

Council and Party Archontology

The History Writing in Hungary owed for a long time the research of those who took part in the political life of the socialist period.  The list of the members belonged once to the central leading bodies of the HWPP and the HSWP were drawn in the 1990s and the 2000s. On the other hand the list consists of the council and party office holders of the counties and the capital is still not available for the researchers. The research program launched in 2012 by the Budapest City Archives in order to fill that gap aims to create the archontology of office holders of the council and party bodies in Budapest (regarding the capital and the districts as well).

With the support of the National Cultural Fund the archontology of the most crucial office holders of the Council of the Capital City of Budapest, the District Councils of districts I, II III, IV, V, VI, VIII and those of the Budapest and District I, II, III, IV, V party committees of the Hungarian Working People’s Party and the Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party have been created, 2012-14. The database includes the following functions:

Party leaders: First Secretaries; members of the Executive Committee (EC), Revision Committee, Disciplinary Committee and the Party Committee (in the constitutive meeting).

Council leaders: Presidents of the Councils (EC Presidents), their deputies (Deputy EC Presidents), EC Secretaries, EC members, Department Heads, members of the councils (in the constitutive meeting).

The database includes the following data:

  • Name of the office holder (name, title/member, birth name)
  • Name of the office/function (function, body/institution)
  • Date of the appointment and the removal (start and end date)
  • Exact time interval of occupancy of the given function (date of the appointment and the removal/scope)
  • Data identifying the position occupied after the removal from the said function (the next workplace/office, function, reasons of the departure)
  • Relevant archival data.

The created database which includes 12325 records is available on the Hungaricana Cultural Heritage Portal and the Hungarian Archival Portal as well. The recommended place of the research is the Hungaricana Cultural Heritage Portal, where one can browse and search in the database. Furthermore, click to the given office holder’s name to view the career of that person in the socialist period.

The persons included by the database are listed in alphabetical order which makes their way in the hierarchy transparent. The data of the appointments and removals are represented in line with the order of the party organization. The creators of the database departed from that only if they found no information about the given person in the place defined by the order.