Archives, libraries, museums

I like to cover news about the repositories often used by genealogists.

Tuesday, June 9, 200907:53:19 CET
BMD registers research conference at the Hungarian National Archives

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I'm en route to Budapest to attend the conference hosted by the Hungarian National Archives. The subject of the conference is Birth/Marriage/Death registers. Speakers include National Archives staff, the people who wrote the digitization of church BMD registers in Hungary study, a couple of lectures with case studies, a former Natl Archives staff member sharing her memories about the days of LDS microfilming at the archives in the 1960s, Family Tree Ltd.'s Mr. Eötvös, Karl Heinz of the Matricula project (digitizing German and Austrian registers) and Vlatka Lemic of the Croatian National Archives (digitized BMD registers in Croatia, 1580-1945).

I plan to take notes during the conference using Twitter. Follow me live or check out the updates later.

filed under: Online resources Archives, libraries, museums Croatia Events

Friday, April 24, 200910:47:45 CET now 20 years old - conference on digitization

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I'm sitting in the Millenaris Center in Budapest, the venue of the Budapest Book Festival. What brought me here is the digitization conference organized by Arcanum. The company is 20 years old this year.

I plan to tweet about the event using my Twitter account. Follow me!

filed under: Databases Online resources Books, mags, CD-s, DVD-s Archives, libraries, museums Events

Friday, October 31, 200820:45:56 CET
Arcanum text processing - hundreds of thousands of pages, online, free

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Thanks to a prominent member on the Hungarian Csaladtortenet (Family History) list at RadixIndex, several of Arcanum's upcoming or not widely published resources have been mentioned. These large corpora offer valuable information for the family historian, too.

The first of the announced collections - with less info for the genealogist - was the minutes and documents of Hungary's Parliament, 1867-1918, 312,000 pages.

The second one is more promising for the ancestry researcher: publications of Hungarian museums is an almost complete collection of the yearbooks and other publications by county museums and by several other museums in Hungary - 1500 volumes, 370,000 pages. (announcement)

The third set is the one that has or will soon have the beef. Publications of Hungary's archives is a growing corpus making the volumes of archives available and searchable online. (announcement)

The museum and archives collections use the same navigation systems. Search is made possible by full-text keyword search and the volumes can be browsed going down from the article level to the page level. The texts are predominantly in Hungarian with eventual abstracts. The technology is dual layer PDF: texts were OCR-ed and dual layer (text and image) PDF pages were created.

Bon appétit!

filed under: Databases Online resources Archives, libraries, museums

Thursday, April 24, 200818:39:48 CET
Digitization in the Timis County Library in Timisoara

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The Hungarian language newspaper Új Magyar Szó reports about the digitization underway in Timisoara's county library.

Several of the Romanian language old newspapers of the Banat region have been scanned and further titles are planned, including the Hungarian language Délmagyarországi Közlöny (1872-1918).

The internet page of the digitized materials is nothing more than directories with links to the downloadable years of Drapelul de Lugoj (old Hungary's Lugos) and Luminatorul (Timisoara's leading Romanian newspaper at the turn of the 19-20th c.). The files in the PDf format are huge (several years go beyond 1 GB). The library will probably consider the development of the digital library interface so that it could be more user-friendly: Timis County Library Digital Library - click on periodice for the historical newspapers.

filed under: Online resources Archives, libraries, museums Romania

Tuesday, April 8, 200810:40:19 CET
Re: Digitization at the Hungarian National Archives

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The Hungarian National Archives kindly responded to my email asking about the status of the digitization of the 1828 census of Hungary. According to their information the launch of the service is expected for the Summer of 2009, at earliest. The processing of the 1720 census is more advanced.

filed under: Databases Archives, libraries, museums

Thursday, April 3, 200820:02:07 CET
Habent sua fata actae - things take a turn for the better in Belgrade, Serbia

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To see whether there is something I could grab for RadixHub from the websites of archives in Serbia I took a short trip to them. A spin-off of this virtual travel is this entry on RadixLog.

In Nov 2007 the National Archives of Serbia signed an agreement with the Pravoslav (Greek Orthodox) Church of Serbia to help the preservation (salvage) of church-owned archivalia.

Two kilometres of old papers waited for their saviour in the bell tower of the St. Mark's Church in Belgrade. When the archivists of the Serbian National Archives arrived in Jan 2008 the condition of the papers was already miserable - their refuge housing lasted for 17 years. Now the caring hands clean, dehydrate, disinfect, pack and process further the documents and books. This material includes church metrical registers amongst other valuable archivalia.

filed under: Archives, libraries, museums Serbia

Wednesday, April 2, 200812:23:40 CET
Digitization at the Hungarian National Archives

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Prof. Gecsényi, general director of the Hungarian National Archives has an updated lectori salutem on the homepage of the repository. He describes the archives' efforts to become a more service and patron oriented institution.

2007 already brought a number PR boosting events organized and hosted by the archives, like the History in hands reach in November (see a nice video on YouTube), the Days of Cultural Heritage programs, including a historical playground for children. And for 2008 there is a coming competition for the kids on the May Day of Museums.

Talking about the digitization planned and under way the director mentions that online access to Hungary's 1720 and 1828 national censii is being prepared.

It was some weeks ago that opened its World Collection with the index to 25 counties of the 1828 census.

filed under: Databases Archives, libraries, museums

Wednesday, February 13, 200823:29:28 CET
Zakarpattia, Ukraine church metrical books in the LDS FHL catalog

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Just sent off this to the Hungary-L @ Rootsweb. Great news for Zakarpattia buffs!

Hello folks,

Following the discovery of the appearance of the Greek Catholic Diocese in Uzhhorod (Ungvar) BMD microfilms in the Family History Library catalog back in Oct 2007 (wrote a blog entry about it that time), today's serendipious find is the continuation of the BMD records with the Reformed Church in former NE Hungary, Karpatalja.

These catalog items are really fresh, must not be older than one month. In some instances the microfilms must have been taken of the original registers (kept by the state archives), because the covered years often go back prior to the 1820s (when copy series were established).

To see the list of available films, check out this URL (and should it break into more than one line, paste it into one): display=titlehitlist&keyword=Berehove Church records

My blog item from Oct 2007:

Happy researching,

Janos Bogardi / Radix.

filed under: Archives, libraries, museums Ukraine

Friday, January 18, 200811:22:20 CET
A new book about Hungarian Jewish metrical books - and more Jewish research items

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The archivist at the Hungarian Jewish Museum and Archives, Zsuzsanna Toronyi published an article about the history of the archives in the 2007/3 issue of the Levéltári Szemle (Archives Gazetteer, the journal of the Hungarian Archivist Association).

When writing about recent history, her footnote #34 mentions a new book that shouldn't be overlooked: Magyaroszági zsidó anyakönyvek 1760-tól napjainkig (Jewish matricula in Hungary from 1760 to our days) by Kinga Frojimovics, published in Budapest, 2007.

There aren't too many references to it yet on the net. The best I can find is the What's news page of the Budapest ELTE university Dept. of Assyriology and Hebrew Studies. According, this work is #3 in the series Magyar zsidó levéltári repertórium (Guide to Hungarian jewish archival materials), also it's #21 in the series Hungarica Judaica. The publisher is the Center of Jewish Studies at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. Number of pages: 692, ISBN 963-508-518-4. The previous work in the former series was the 1993 2 volumes by György Haraszti, the list of Jewish archival materials in Hungarian repositories.

The book can be purchased at the univ dept and probably from the Center of Jewish Studies of HAS, as well.

Kinga Frojimovics is not unknown to the Hungarian Jewish family historian. She is a former staff member of the Hungarian Jewish Archives, invited speaker at the IAJGS 2003 conference, and according to the Toronyi article Dr. Frojimovics is now the Director of the Hungarian Desk at Yad Vashem.

In her article Ms. Toronyi also makes mention of an online archival aid in progress. The archives develops a database of the 19th century personal legacies and bequests in their holdings. The (tentative?) address of the database would be this.

The TOC of issue 4 of 2007 of the Archives Gazetteer has that there is a review of yet another book of possible interest in the matter. The reviewed book is a Hungarian language guide to handling Hebrew archival materials (Segédlet a héber iratok kezeléséhez), authors are Gábor Dávid and Zsuzsanna Toronyi, Budapest, Hungarian Jewish Museum and Archives, 2006, 115 pages.

filed under: Archives, libraries, museums Jewish research

Friday, January 18, 200808:32:21 CET
New access rules of Romanian archives in effect since Nov 2007

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An email forwarded to the listserv of Hungarian librarians contained the new rules for archives research in Romania, in effect since Nov 1, 2007. The email has them in Hungarian, perhaps its English recap won't hurt.

- Limit on the quantity of materials one can request at a time: 15 folders or 30 separate sheets or 30 xerox sheets or 10 photos or 10 seals or 5 manuscripts or 5 volumes of matricula or 5 maps or 5 photo albums or 5 microfilm rolls - these are referred to as archive units.
- In case of mixed archive units, 30 can be requested at a time.
- Requested materials would be available for 15 days and usage can be extended for 10 days.
- A written request for extra services (e.g. more materials, more research days) should be addressed to the director of the institute, who would reply within two business days.
- Requests for copies are to be approved by the archives staff member in the research room.
- Fees of xerox copies: A4: 0.35 RON (0.14 US$), A3: 0.60 RON (0.24 US$).
- Researcher can take an unlimited number photos of his/her requested materials with his/her own equipment after grabbing a day photo pass (price: 5 RON, 2 US$).
- The archives registration sheet doesn't ask for the subject of research. This way there is no way to deny access to the material based on the subject of research. Instead, there is an optional form covering research subjects, which is intended to inform archives about the materials sought after by researchers.

Well, this post might add some to the thread ignited by Janet K.'s post on the Hungary-L on RootsWeb, with follow up from Sorin F.

filed under: Archives, libraries, museums Romania

Monday, October 8, 200722:46:57 CET
Heureka, Ukraina!

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I'm preparing stuff to be added to the previously announced RadixHub. During the boring task of going through the holdings of Family History Library Catalog for modern and former Hungary I spotted quite something.

Apparently LDS is working on getting records from the Ukraine, and along with the vast eastern territories of the country sets of films relating to Zakarpattia (Kárpátalja) are on their newly acquired list, too. Considering the assigned record numbers for these items (1411329-32) and notes on them ("This is a preliminary description provided to allow immediate microfilm access.") these must be really fresh! Also, it must be due to the haste to add them to the FHL catalog that their "Authors" were not correctly entered. The listed author is the Greek Catholic Diocese in Uzhhorod, while the true provenance must has been the State Archives in Uzhhorod.

OK, now to the beef.

1) Family History Library cat. no. 1411329: Metrical books of the Mukacheve (Uzhhorod) Greek Catholic Diocese, 1826-1938, 70 microfilm rolls. Film notes with details.

This set contains church BMD registers, marriage licenses and records (people of mixed faiths), and church records of emigrants from the GC Diocese. These must not be the originals, but the original, contemporary copies. Churches in Hungary (in the Habsburg Monarchy) were requested to keep a copy of their metrical books and to send the copy sheets to either the county or to the diocese archives annually.

2) Family History Library cat. no. 1411330: Emigration records, 1901-1939, 25 microfilm rolls. Film notes with details.

Protocols and documents relating to the issue of passports to North America.

3) Family History Libary cat no. 1411331: Military records, 1853-1937, 12 microfilm rolls. Film notes with details.

Draft records, mainly from the Soviet era. 19th century docs are fragmentary.

4) Family History Libary cat no. 1411332: Various public records, 1954-1938, 8 microfilm rolls. Film notes with details.

This material includes various list of homeowners, citizens, voters, students.

Note that the detailed film notes are in the Cyrillic Ukrainian script.

filed under: Archives, libraries, museums Ukraine

Tuesday, August 7, 200712:13:50 CET
Photo shooting in archives in Romania

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There is a slow process of easing of access to archives in Romania. Up to only a couple of months ago foreign citizens had to ask for permission from the central archives authorities in Bucharest, precisely describing the materials (down to the settlement level) they wished to do research on. The permission took several weeks to arrive.

Several researchers reported that the strict rules eased as Romania headed to its a EU ascension on Jan 1, 2007.

A few weeks ago János Kocs of Sfantu Gheorghe (Sepsiszentgyörgy) informed the fellow researchers on the Csaladtortenet mailing list that a central order from the national archival authority allowed taking digital photos of archival materials in Romania. Fees are set per picture. According to him, the price is 0.1 Lei (Romanian currency) per piece, which makes about $0.04 US funds.

filed under: Archives, libraries, museums Romania

Tuesday, August 7, 200711:49:08 CET
Making your own digital copies at archives and libraries in Hungary

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As the demand and expectations are growing, archives (and libraries) face with the issue whether they should allow researchers do their own copies or not. The paradigm gets bigger and bigger as digital cameras become a standard accessory in the average genealogist's toolset.

I think I could collect both the news bits posted here and there and my personal experience in regards this topic. All the prices below are in US Dollars converted from their Hungarian values.

Hungary's national library, the Széchényi Library allows visitors to make their copies with their own digital cameras, after buying a photo pass valid for one day. It costs something like $6. At the beginnings there were no limits set on the number of photos that could be taken, then, from late 2005 there is a limit of about 40 shots/day. One has to sign a bond that the photos would not be published.

The two branches of the Hungarian National Archives (MOL) have different policies. At the old, main building in the castle district one can buy photo passes. Prices for them: 1 day pass about $17, 5 day pass about $67, 1 month pass about $170, according to the price list (pdf file). In late 2006 the other, Óbuda branch, which holds the microfilm collection, installed a self-service Zeutschel microfilm scanner. From then family historians and other researchers can scan the reels with the found records at a price of $0.4/picture plus the nominal fee of the CD. The CD-s are burnt by entitled staff members, and they might not be available at late hours.

The Budapest City Archives introduced their new research policy on Nov 1, 2006. The regulation allows the purchase of duration-based photo passes. Prices: 1 day - $8.5, 5 day - $33, 30 days - $85, 12 months $330.

As for county archives, there is no single ruling policy. County archives are free to set their own rules.

My current visit to the Somogy County Archives was a pleasant surprise. They started the photo pass system in July 2007, so, I was able to secure the digital photos of the records I could find. Prices start at about $2.8 (1 day pass), then day have them for 1 week, 2 weeks, 1 month, 2 months, and 6 months. The 6 months pass is available for about $44.

My hometown archives, the Baranya County Archives has the policy that I believe is prevailing in county archives in Hungary. They offer various copies, both printed and digital, but all the copies are to be prepared by the archives and prices are per piece.

filed under: Archives, libraries, museums

Monday, August 6, 200713:19:28 CET
Hungarian National Archives invites offers to digitize cadastral maps

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The Hungarian National Archives does intend to continue with its digitizing efforts. Their new tender now invites proposals (see page 27485) to digitize its S 78 collection. This collection consists of old cadastral maps of Hungarian settlements from the period 1851-1918. Amongst the maps there are both handwritten and printed ones. The current tender places the number of items to be digitized between 10,000 and 18,000.

filed under: Archives, libraries, museums Genealogy industry

Friday, May 4, 200715:29:22 CET
Archives days in Hungary and Slovakia

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Similarly to the timing of the (re)new(ed) websites of archivists, the Day of Hungarian Archivists and Archives Days in the Republic of Slovakia go almost parallel. The event in Budapest took place yesterday, May 3, 2007, and the conference in Zilina, Slovakia is scheduled for May 23-25, 2007.

The core subject of both conventions is digitization in archives.

I was about to register for the Budapest event, but then decided that the morsels of info I could get from the speeches covering general issues from speakers at high levels of bureaucracy would probably not worth it. Of course I missed an opportunity to socialize.

The Zilina conference looks like more promising. Little is known (at least I don't know much) about the digitization efforts of archives in Slovakia. There are some presentations with the trash words "vision", "concept", "problem", "perspective" in their titles. Now these are the ones that I'd miss. Researchers aren't expecting concepts, we'd rather see some real stuff :-).

The presentations that I'd be interested in are these:
- digitization of medieval charters (Maretta)
- digitization of large format documents (Kasiarova, Kalnovicova)
- Badatelna - archival findings aids (Bily)
- Slovakian National Archives on the web (Vimmer)
- digitization in the Banska Bystrica archives (Horvathova, Latoova).

The Slovakian association invited panelists from abroad, too. There will be speakers from Austria (Styria), Germany (Baden-Württemberg), Budapest (Budapest City Archives), Poland (Poznan), Czech Rep. (Prague), Slovenia (Ptuj).

filed under: Archives, libraries, museums Slovakia Events

Friday, May 4, 200714:36:36 CET
Archivists sites in Hungary and Slovakia

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Revisiting the previously empty site of the Association of Hungarian Archivists I notice with pleasure that the site is taking shape and starting to fill up with content. There are all kinds of news and notices about upcoming and past events etc.

Surprisingly, the website of the Association of Slovakian Archivists started also these very months. Just like its Hungarian peer, that one is full of info, too. Besides the organizational stuff one can read about the annual "Archives Days" (1997-2006), and the newsletter issues of the association (Fórum Archivárov, 2000-2001, 2005-). There is a link to the programme of the 2007 Days of Archives to be held in Zilina later in May. Perhaps that event might deserve a separate blog entry. Stay tuned.

filed under: Archives, libraries, museums Slovakia

Saturday, April 7, 200715:35:23 CET
GDL wins archives digitization competition over Arcanum

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The Hungarian National Archives website has just announced the results of a tender competition for the digitization of old maps and pre-1526 charters in its holdings. The competition started in January earlier this year. My "educated guess" for the outcome was that Arcanum would be commissioned for that job.

The results don't match my expectations. GDL has been named as the winner of the competition. A had some faint memories about this company, who are not really known to the public. Now after doing some digging they turned out to be a past winner of an other National Archives competition, that time for the computer filing system of the archives. They have worked for the Archives of National Security Services in the late 1900s, early 2000s (this archives was called the Historical Office those years).

Obviously this isn't good news for Arcanum. Thanks to the post by one of our list fellows on the Csaladtortenet mailing list, we could read about the Arcanum plans for 2007. Their plans included further volumes of the county nobility series by Márton Szluha, maps from the family archives in the holdings of the Hungarian National Archives, manuscript maps, and especially land ownership maps from the Hungarian National Széchényi Library, old cadastral maps from Hungary's counties and "further charters".

One of the two subjects of the May 3, 2007 Day of Hungarian archivists will be the possibilities of digitization of the archives' holdings in Hungary. I could image that GDL would be one of the guests/speakers at this event.

filed under: Archives, libraries, museums Genealogy industry

Tuesday, November 7, 200617:26:28 CET
Medieval charters stolen - and returned

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The copy machine repairman hired by the Benedictine Abbey of Pannonhalma has been charged with stealing precious old documents from their collections. Using the lack of supervision - according to the charge - he was able to take away old charters several occasions.

The good news is that none of the archival materials have been lost, all of them could be found. The estimated value of the stolen documents is about $600,000.

The most outstanding from the set of the stolen rarities is a charter issued in about 1090. This is Hungary's oldest known charter with a seal of the king.

(Source of info in Hungarian)

filed under: Archives, libraries, museums Foo

Wednesday, May 31, 200620:54:53 CET
Budapest City Archives launches online databases

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Thanks to the post on the Csaladtortenet mailing list I read that the Social History Online Database of the Budapest City Archives has been finally opened. (An old post about it in the blog.)

The database contains metadata about the documents in the holdings of the archives, covering the following subject areas:
- Probate cases (provenience: court records, public notaries' records), 1915-1955, full coverage.
- Various records of public notaries, 1875-1950. As of now, the period of 1875-1900 is covered the most in the database.
- Cases at various courthouses in Budapest, 1872-1895. The Court of Budapest is fully processed.
- Last wills and testaments, 1896-1950, fully processed, the period of 1699-1873 is under processing.
- Orphans' courts' records, first records planned to be released in 2006.

Wow! That's a real treasure for the genealogist digging around Budapest.

Enter a surname in the simple search form and you there you go (mind the Hungarian accented letters, though). Or, click on "Részletes keresés" for the detailed search form.

filed under: Databases Archives, libraries, museums

Friday, March 31, 200621:42:11 CET
Hungarian National Library to give back old documents to their owners

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Hungary's National Szechenyi Library published a call for claims for old documents.

These documents are stored by the library, but they do not belong to their holdings. The papers belonged to various old Hungarian noble families. Rightful owners can get them back now. Claims are accepted through June 30, 2006.

The list of named families: Almassy, Batthyany, Bezeredy, Csekonics, Dessewffy, Erdody, Eszterhazy, Festetics, Gorgei, Homan, Hunyady, Jankovich, Jeszenszky, Karolyi, Magyary-Kossa, Palffy, Podmaniczky, Radvanszky, Sibrik, Sigray, Szabo, Szechenyi, Szecsen, Szily, Szontagh, Szogyeny-Marich, Teleki, Tisza, Zichy.

filed under: Archives, libraries, museums

Tuesday, February 28, 200621:57:14 CET
Latin-Hungarian dictionary and Vasarnapi Ujsag on OSZK servers

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The Hungarian Electronic Library, (MEK) added at least two more items that would interest genealogists and local history researchers.

The first one is Finaly's Latin-Hungarian dictionary. This dictionary is used the most by historians in Hungary dealing with medieval and modern latin. The electronic version of the 100 years old dictionary was published a few years ago on CD-ROM by Arcanum, and now it was donated to MEK. In MEK it has its own search interface.

Besides MEK, the Hungary's National Széchényi Library (OSZK) maintains another electronic collection, the Electronic Periodicals Archives, EPA. EPA functions both as a catalog for Hungarian periodicals available anywhere on the internet and also as a collection of digitized periodicals served by OSZK.

The latter service added years of Vasárnapi Újság to their offerings, namely 1854-1860 and 1861-1865. Vasarnapi Ujsag was a popular weekly magazine with rich illustrations. Years 1854-1860 were published by Arcanum back in 2002, and they are now avaible as html pages in EPA. I suspect they were donated by Arcanum to OSZK, just like Finaly's dictionary. Volumes of 1861-1865 were probably digitized by EPA, and its issues are available as PDF files.

filed under: Online resources Archives, libraries, museums

Tuesday, October 4, 200509:58:55 CET
Archives Mukachevo, Ukraine publishes catalog of its holdings

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What a feast! Ukrainian county archives now have lists of their holdings, published on the Archives of Ukraine site. Amongst the other units one can find the one in Mukachevo: List of fonds the State Archives of the Zakarpattya County. A word of warning: site is in Ukrainian. The list is available for download in the PDF format.

Basically, the archives in Mukachevo holds documents pertaining to the former Hungarian counties Ung, Bereg, Ugocsa and Maramaros. For some of them, holdings are only partial, as due to border changes various fonds went to Slovakia, Hungary and Romania, too. To help researchers archivists in these countries started to work together a few years ago. In fact, the above cited catalog is a fruit of joint work with the Museum in Satu Mare, Romania. On the Hungarian side the Archives of Szabolcs-Szatmar-Bereg County (in Nyiregyhaza) takes a major role.

I'll pick a few items from the catalog later - just for a tease.

filed under: Online resources Archives, libraries, museums Ukraine

Sunday, August 21, 200511:12:05 CET
Annual meeting of Hungarian archivists in Eger

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Starting tomorrow and ending on Wed, the annual meeting of archivists in Hungary (sponsored by MLE, Association of Hungarian Archivists) is going to be hosted by the Heves County Archives in Eger.

Main tracks are:
1) Preservation and restoration
2) IT in the archives
3) Archives finance
4) Hungary-related holdings in the archives of the Carpathian Basin
5) Publishing of sources

There will be a lecture that is of interest for the family historian. In section 4 dr. Milena Ostrolucka of the archives in Kosice speaks with the title: Genealogical research in the archives of Slovakia.

She gave a similar lecture during the similar meeting of the Slovakian Archivists' Association in Kosice, June 6-8, 2005. She was then followed by Mr. Vladimír Bohinc of Konekta, genealogy and probate services. According to his presentation title, he shared the research experiences in Slovakia and abroad.

(The original quoted page within the domain is no more available. Google had a cached page a few days ago, it's gone by now, too :(. MSN Search has the cached page. Thumbs up for MSN. I've started to lose my faith in the much praised Google a couple of months ago. Some day I'll sum up my complaints here.)

filed under: Archives, libraries, museums Slovakia Events

Monday, August 15, 200522:32:30 CET
Hungarian National Archives to cut back opening hours

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It's probably family historians, too, who will suffer from the country's high budget deficit. Blame it on politicians: they cut where there are immediate results. It's easy to cut R&D (2003: 0.95%, 2004: 0.88% of Hungary's GDP). Won't hurt their next election too much.

How come it's brought up here? According to one of our Csaladtortenet list members, printed plates are all around in the locations of the Hungarian National Archives, informing researchers about their shortened opening hours. For the period 1 Oct 2005 - 31 March 2006 hours will be: Mon-Thu 8:30-16:00, Fri 8:30-14:00 (closed on weekends). According to the plates, the cut is due to the economizing inclination of Hungary's government.

Currently, the hours are: Mon-Thu: 8:30-17:45, Fri 8:30-15:45 (closed on weekends).

Add to this that up to the mid-1990s, research rooms were open until 19:30 Mon-Thu.

Most folks with dayjobs work 8-16 here in Hungary. They can kiss goodbye to research, unless they take some of their annual vacation days.

Not to forget, I'd expect researchers inspired by the Family Memory Program to rush in the archives from early September, as the school begins. Oops, 5-16 Sept the archives has its annual routine closure.

(smallprint: the Baranya County Archives here in Pécs is a pioneer in cutting back. For at least a couple of years they have been closed on Mondays, open 8-16 Tue-Thu, 8-12 on Fri.)

Damnit! Big Time!

filed under: Archives, libraries, museums

Sunday, June 26, 200511:26:22 CET
Opening hours of Hungarian libraries during summer

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Librarians at the National Research Institute for Physics collect summer opening hours notices of Hungarian libraries. Thanks to their work anyone with basic language skills can get an overview of the dates.

Here is the extract plus info about the Hungarian National Széchényi Library.

The Széchényi Library gets closed 1-31 August.

The main building of the Budapest Szabó Ervin Public Library is going to be closed 4-31 July.

The Library of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences closes on 27 June and reopens on 8 August, according to the above compilation.

The ELTE (Budapest) University Library closes on 11 July and opens again only on after 2 September.

The Library of the Parliament offers shortened opening hours in July, and closes in August.

The National Pedagogical Library and Museum is closed between 18 July and 21 August.

So, for the casual visitor the bottom line is: go to the National Széchényi Library if you plan a general research during July, and go to the Budapest Public Library or to the Academy Library if you do research during August.

filed under: Archives, libraries, museums

Sunday, June 26, 200510:57:42 CET
Opening hours of Hungarian archives during summer

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When people from Hungary with dayjobs take their summer vacation, and when a portion of foreign tourists with Hungarian ancestry come to visit the country during the months of summer, they might wish to pay a visit to archives, libraries or museums to pursue some genealogical diggings. Only if this would be possible!

Usually the staff at these places take their vacation during summer, too. So, if you plan research during July, and especially, during August, be careful and arrange your visit so that you don't have to face closed doors.

I'll try to give some details about summer openings hours here. Although I wish I could be comprehensive as far as central and county archives are concerned, but I couldn't find much information on their websites.

None of the county archives display their summer opening (closing) hours on the websites. As a rule of thumb, one should expect a closing of approx. 2 weeks, ending on 20 August. Thanks to one of our research fellows we can be aware of the closing of the Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg County Archives from 11 July for 2 weeks and the closing of the Reformed Church Archives in Debrecen throughout July.

The Veszprém County Archives closed on 31 March because they are moving to a new location. They are not likely to open before the end of the year.

The new website of the Hungarian National Archives is up-to-date with opening hours, their usual closure is scheduled for 5-16 September.

I'll post more on the topic as soon as more details become available. Stay tuned, as the summer library hours should follow.

filed under: Archives, libraries, museums

Saturday, June 26, 200400:00:22 CET
Free online collection of old newspapers from Austria

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The Austrian National Library is hard at work. They are putting old newspapers to the web: ANNO (AustriaN Newspapers Online). In February 2004 the number of available pages reached 1 million. One interesting title for Hungarian research is the Pester Lloyd. This was a German language newspaper published in Budapest. I haven't read into it deeply, maybe there are obits published in the paper.

filed under: Online resources Archives, libraries, museums Austria

Friday, June 25, 200419:41:56 CET
Somogy County Archives rewards contributors to its collection

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It's a 3 year long tradition to give reward to those who give in historical documents to the Somogy County Archives. Awards are presented at the annual County Archives Day.

filed under: Archives, libraries, museums

Friday, June 25, 200418:45:32 CET
Somogy County Archives' pre-1526 charters to be on the web

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In a release of 23 June Somogy County Archives director announced that their collection of pre-1526 charters would be available on the website of the archives. Checked the site then and now: the old documents are yet to be uploaded.

I suspect this effort was done with financial help from the Hungarian Ministry of Informatics and Communication's 24th Hour competition. It's aim was to help digitization projects to save fading cultural heritage items with the help of the puter. Probably there will be other announcements related to the competition, as the deadline is getting closer - or are we already over it? I'm not sure.

filed under: Online resources Archives, libraries, museums

Wednesday, March 17, 200418:39:06 CET
New LDS family history centers to open this year in Hungary

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According to a senior LDS volunteer in Budapest (who happens to be a member of AKUFF, too) they would like to open four (or five? I'm not sure) new family history centers in Hungary. They will be located in Szeged, Nyíregyháza, Gyõr and Szombathely. The furniture and equipments are already in Hungary, the centers would be installed and opened within a few months. It's just simply too bad they won't have one in Pécs - the city where I live.

As of now, there is only one FHC in Hungary. Yes, it's in Budapest.

filed under: Archives, libraries, museums

Thursday, March 11, 200418:12:31 CET
Research aids for Zala County in the works

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One of them has been published back in 2000 (its review)and now the Zala County Archives has plans to put it online. This is the archontology of Zala County, that is a historical directory of the county's officers.

The other work in progress is a research project by the social historians of Atelier Research Centre. They are looking at the property census of the nobility in Zala County taken in 1835. Hope that beyond the statistical research reports this will have some spin-off for the family historian, too.

filed under: Archives, libraries, museums

Thursday, March 11, 200418:00:44 CET
Catalog of old maps in the Kalocsa Archiepiscopal Archives

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The archives at R. C. Archibishopric in Kalocsa prepared the catalog of the old maps in their collection and put it on their website. The list consists of more than 800 old maps - mostly from the 18th and 19th centuries and mostly covering single settlements from the territory of the archibishopric, that is old Pest-Pilis-Solt-Kiskun and Bács-Bodrog Counties. Yes, there are many from former Batschka, too.

filed under: Online resources Archives, libraries, museums

Thursday, March 11, 200417:46:32 CET
Budapest - now and then

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There was a photo contest with the subject of Budapest back in January. Some 1600 photos were submitted in three categories: "Modern Budapest", "Dark Budapest" and "Funny Budapest". All the photographs are available here.

The Budapest Public Library opened its redesigned website 2 weeks ago. One of the new features would be the Picture Archives of Budapest. Unfortunately, their database server doesn't seem to work, or at least, doesn't accept connections from outside - hope they will be able to fix it. The picture archives is linked here.

filed under: Databases Online resources Archives, libraries, museums

Sunday, February 29, 200416:06:14 CET
KlimoTheca launched

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My employer, the University of Pécs Library, launched its digital library service on 24 Feb. The name of the digital collection in KlimoTheca. We keep our eyes open to family historians, so, one can expect a few titles interesting for genealogists to appear there. We already have some good stuff scanned: 1877 gazetteer of Hungary (and an older one from 1786), the directory of public institutions and of their employees in Hungary from 1863, the directory of larger land owners in Hungary from 1897 and other titles geared toward local history researchers. Requests are welcome!

filed under: Online resources Archives, libraries, museums

Sunday, February 29, 200415:35:10 CET
Fejér County Archives closed until 3 May 2004

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The website of the archives has this information.

filed under: Archives, libraries, museums

Sunday, February 29, 200414:25:43 CET
Hungarian National Archives working on the 1715 "national census" digital version

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According to this article in Hungary's popular daily Népszabadság the Hungarian National Archives is working on digitizing the 1715 "national census". This census is similar to the 1828 one, with which Hungarian family historians are probably familiar.

The article suggests that personal names will not be indexed, instead, one will be able to browse digitized images going through settlements. It is told to be available in June this year.

Even more digital sources are envisioned, the 1720 and 1828 similar censii might follow.

filed under: Databases Archives, libraries, museums

Tuesday, December 30, 200300:02:35 CET
Hungarian minister of culture signed agreements in the US

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Ok, this is not a really new one. During his visit to the US in early November 2003 Hungarian minister of culture must have been really busy.

He signed an agreement at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. According to this microfilm copies of archival materials not available for public research in Hungary will be available at the Museum's research facilities - with measures to defend privacy.

Then Prof. Hiller signed another one with the Committee for Hungarian Education in North America "to help Hungarians living in North America preserve and promote Hungarian traditions, culture, language, and art". The release on the ministry's website also mentions that the ministry would like to provide help to American Hungarians in researching their ancestry in the old country.

filed under: Archives, libraries, museums Jewish research

Thursday, December 18, 200323:19:46 CET
Budapest City Archives news

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Tuesday and Wednesday this week were dedicated to a trip to Budapest. Besides grabbing a few books to be used as sources for RadixRef at secondary bookshops I also visited one of the branches of the Budapest City Archives.

This branch - currently housed in a rather strange building (a museum, formerly) in the mountainous area of Buda - contains files of court houses and public notaries of Budapest. There are two more branches of the city archives. The opening ceremony for the new building, where materials of all the branches should have been transferred, was planned for Autumn 2003 - now that's over. It looks February or March 2004 will be the date for the real launch - one can expect an interruption of services due to the move.

... Hey, but it means some good things to come, too. Archivists are working on a couple of databases that might be available on their website - and at least one of them might be accessible right from the opening at the new address. This is a database of decisions of Budapest courts regarding inheritance and last wills and testament cases - they have some 70-80,000 records now.

They also consider to continue with the old Budapest city directories - a project the realization of which Péter Király (mentioned earlier) did not think to be really likely -, and start building a new database of the family sheets of Budapest people from the infamous 1941 Hungarian national census.

filed under: Databases Archives, libraries, museums

Tuesday, December 9, 200317:25:21 CET
Finding aids of the Hungarian War Archives online

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The Magyar Elektronikus Könyvtár (Hungarian Electronic Library) added the html versions of some published inventories of the Hadtörténelmi Levéltár (Hungarian War Archives in Budapest, Hungary) to their collections. There had already been some titles in this series, now the list is longer.

Here are the available titles:
- inventary of the holdings pertaining to the 1848-1849 Hungarian revolution
- the introduction of the War Archives
- the yearbook of the archives from 1998 with various studies
- the inventary of the military files at the archives

All these are in Hungarian.

filed under: Online resources Archives, libraries, museums

Wednesday, December 3, 200323:35:42 CET
Budapest city directory of 1900 goes online

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... or at least, its part that contains names, professions and addresses of its inhabitants. This is the same series in which I offered lookups of names.

Péter Király made a pilot of 50 pages on it a few years ago, and now it looks like he could complete this project and it is now served from the Budapest City Archives website. Well done, well done!

Thanks to Laci Pfaff of AKUFF for sharing this news with us.

Also, while on the Budapest City Archives site I noticed another new item: the 1873-1874 minutes of the main committee City Council. The minutes is fully transcribed and searchable. Many useful items for local history researchers. It's made available by a joint venture of the city archives and of Arcanum.

filed under: Databases Archives, libraries, museums

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