Monday, July 19, 2021

Budapest Archives / National Archive of Hungary - Ordering Documents

Last week I wrote about a resource that indexes individuals from a large number of Hungarian documents (you can read about that here).  Many of those documents are kept at the Budapest City Archives or the National Archive of Hungary, and you can request the originals there.  But those particular archives have also indexed a subset of their holdings by surname.  While some records are indexed in both the Hungaricana resource I wrote about last week as well as by the holding archive, some are only on one site but not the other.  And regardless, you can request the original document from the archive itself.  Here's how to do that.

Document Obtained from Budapest Local Archives regarding Jakab Salamon Ruttner

First, search the Budapest Local Archive's and the National Archive of Hungary's indexes by going to and then using the search box to search for a surname or a town.  Wildcard characters are accepted.  (After pressing "search" on the initial page, you'll again have to click on "search" on the next page that comes up in order to actually search.)

In some cases, you'll be immediately shown the original documents, and you're good.  In other cases, you'll need to request documents.

Here's what to do:

  1. If you see records of interest, you'll need to register on the site.  On the top right, click on "Sign up" and register for a new account.
  2. You'll then have to do a separate application to be a researcher in the archive(s) of interest (Budapest Local Archive, National Archive of Hungary, or both).  Fill out the appropriate application here.  The confirmation may take a business day or two.
  3. Once you receive confirmation that you are a registered researcher, you can begin your order.  I've not been able to add anything automatically to my cart, but you can add the source information for your requested documents manually.  Do this as follows:
    1. When logged in, click on the shopping cart icon in the upper left corner.  Then, below the appropriate archive (note that both are separately listed on the page), click "Add reference code."  Put in the appropriate code, as in the below image.  The code could be from this site or from Hungaricana.
    2. Press "OK" and then in the resulting comment field, type "Kérjük, digitális másolatot" to request a digital copy (otherwise they will pull the original for you to see in person).
    3. Do this for all requested documents.  Note that there is a minimum fee for a single order, so generally one document and several will be the same cost, unless the files are huge.
    4. Once you have all your documents requested, click the boxes to the left of each.  Then click on "Go to Submission."
    5. On the confirmation page, again write "Kérjük, digitális másolatot" in the comments fields, just to be sure.  You can use the default day for research, which is the next day that the research room has appointments (which shouldn't matter for a digital request).
    6. Then submit your request and wait!

As far as timeline, I requested to register as a researcher on July 8.  On July 9, I received confirmation of acceptance.  That same day, I submitted a request for three documents.  I received a bill for those documents (totaling $12) on July 12, and I transferred money that evening use Wise (formerly TransferWise).  I received the documents digitally on July 15.  Not bad, especially during Covid!

Happy ordering!

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