For centuries, the NW (Transylvania, Partium), W (Banat) part of what is now Romania has been the home for people of different nationalities, including Hungarians and Germans.

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

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

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

Wednesday, April 18, 200716:09:39 CET
Transylvania resources, galore

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The first year of Romania in the European Union looks like a good one for family historians.

Several sources have noted about the easing access to archives in Romania for foreigners. One no more has to ask permission from the Romanian archives authority in Bucharest, researchers rather can show up right at the archives they would like to visit and fill in the form. To list but one source I could mention the current issue of Nu What's New, Avotaynu's email newsletter.

And thanks to the efforts of the TransIndex site and their associates, the archives are opening up. At least at the level of archival finding aids. The archive's section of their databank service lists the Hungarian-related archival holdings in the state-run archives in Transylvania. Fonds and files names are available in Romanian and Hungarian languages. The structure of the subject index follows the structure of Hungary's county archives.

In Jan 2007 our list pal on the Csaladtortenet list was early to post a link to a relatively new family history site in Transylvania: Family History. Its young creator published a history of the Count Wass family, of which the much debated Hungarian writer, Albert Wass was a member. Now the PDF of the book is available in the Hungarian Electronic Library: The history of the Wass de Czege family / by András W. Kovács.

A couple more Transylvania-related old books have recently been made available in this same digital library, the MEK. The reference books of the histories of Szolnok-Doboka and Szilágy counties, and that of the R. C. Bishopry of Nagyvárad/Oradea had been published in the 19th century, then re-published on CD and DVD by Arcanum and it looks like Arcanum donated them to MEK.

One further donation is the book about the Andrássy family, an opus from 2002 by Mária Gál and Tibor Russu.

filed under: Online resources Romania

Friday, April 13, 200721:03:08 CET
The conception of EnterTransylvania and a Brasov project

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I read in the blog of the Hungarian Electronic Library about the EnterTransylvania project. This would be a collection of various digital resources covering Transylvania.

An other digital initiative to secure medieval and early modern documents might be under way thanks to a grant awarded in 2005. The area covered would be Brasov/Brasso/Kronstadt and the Burzenland region. The award makes it possible to digitize the materials stored in the Honterus parish building.

filed under: Romania

Tuesday, January 31, 200620:39:50 CET
Szekler censi online

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There was an original set of six volumes with charters relating to Szeklers' history published in the second half of the 19th century. This source of information has been available for over a year now within KlimoTheca.

Now watchers of the new additions to MEK (the Hungarian Electronic Library, run by the Hungarian National Szechenyi Library) posted on the Csaladtortenet (Family history) mailing list that volume 4 of the new series of the Szekler Charters is downloadable in the popular PDF format. Not just that, but volume 5 is there, too. I'd not be surprised if volume 6 would appear in the collection soon, as well.

Volumes 4-6 of the new series contain censuses (conscriptiones) of the Szeklers from 1575 up to 1653: volume 4 covers years 1575-1627, volume 5 has the 1635 one, while volume 6 includes censi 1635-1653.

Real treasures if your Hungarian roots go to the Szeklers' land in Transylvania.

filed under: Online resources Romania

Monday, October 3, 200522:07:30 CET publishes Romanian Jewish database

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A new set of data has been added to's offers. This time their partner in Romania, Marcel Mindrescu added a collection of transcribed Jewish Cemetery records from Oradea, Romania (formerly Nagyvárad, Hungary). The press release also mentions that this is ment to be only the beginning, "the first of many planned from this part of the world".

I remember Gene Hall, FamilyTrackers, Inc. CEO sharing this news item with the members of Rootsweb's Hungary-L, too, and according to Google here and there it got posted on the Jewish Genealogy 2000 and Genealogy on the Internet lists, as well.

The former Google search brings up a new genealogy blog, the one by Gene Hall: FamilyTrackers blog. Interesting. One of the more recent blog items gives a basic overview of genie research in Romania: Genealogy in Romania - It's Tough but Possible.

I should sign up for the offered free account at FamilyTrackers to report what's inside. Does anybody have experiences with them? They made some nice peaks in May and August 2005 - according to Alexa. (But what are those unrelated domain names?)

filed under: Databases Cemeteries Jewish research Romania

Wednesday, March 17, 200418:09:11 CET
Anniversary of expelling noble families in Transylvania

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Early March 1949 was the time when noble families in Transylvania, Romania were expelled from their homes and were forced to move to locations arranged by authorities. The Castellum Foundation (of Transylvanian noble families) organized an evening to memorate this in Marosvásárhely (Tirgu Mures) on 5 March.

filed under: Romania Events

Friday, March 5, 200419:03:53 CET
New book on Romanian research available

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Leland Meitzler of Heritage Magazine announced his distributorship of a relatively new guide for Romanian genealogy research: Romanians in the United States and Canada.

filed under: Books, mags, CD-s, DVD-s Romania

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