Information on Urban History and Urban Historical Research in Hungary (1)

by Katalin Szende and Erika Szívós


1. Associations and Societies on Urban History

Sub-committee on Urban History of the Historical Committee of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (MTA Történettudományi Bizottság Várostörténeti Albizottsága)

2. City Archives

The archival system of Hungary has been frequently reorganized, particularly in the last hundred years. While much of the archival material produced by urban authorities or pertaining to urban issues in the past are still physically deposited in the given municipality, administratively most of it is currently overseen by the National Archives of Hungary and its local filials, the county archives and their local branches:

Overview of Hungarian archives on the Archives Portal managed by the Association of Hungarian Archivists (Magyar Levéltárosok Egyesülete):

A detailed overview of municipal archives and their holdings within the Carpathian Basin, mainly related to the pre-1848 period, is offered in:

D. KOSÁRY, K. KULCSÁR, O. SZAKÁLY, Bevezetés Magyarország történetének forrásaiba és irodalmába, 1, Általános rész., 4, Városi levéltárak és forrásközlések. [Introduction to the sources and literature of the history of Hungary, 1, General part, 4, Municipal archives and source publications] (Budapest, 2015). This volume lists the arrangement and content of the holdings and the finding aids on the basis of personal inspection of the editors, the research was concluded in December 2011.

There is a small number of independent municipal archives maintained by the respective municipalities:

3. Journals

  • The only regular periodical with an exclusively urban profile is the

    The articles are published in Hungarian, with English and German abstracts.

    Another periodical published annually (with varying regularity) is

    • Tanulmányok Budapest Múltjából / Studies From the Past of Budapest, published by the Budapest Historical Museum.

    Back issues as well as recent issues are all available at

    A former quarterly focusing mainly on the history Budapest with several excellent thematic issues, still widely used today was

    • Budapesti Negyed / Budapest Quarterly (1993-2010).

    Its issues have all been digitalized and available online at

    English-language journals:

    • Hungarian Historical Review. Acta Historica Academiae Scentiarum Hungaricae is organized in thematic issues, often with a fully or partially urban profile:
    • Historical Studies on Central Europe, a new online open-access journal published by the Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, is organized in thematic issues, often with a fully or partially urban profile:

    A journal on social history, publishing regularly articles with relevance for urban studies is

4. Journals for Regional History including relevant contributions on Urban History:

5. Bibliographies

6. Main Reference Works on Urban History in Hungary

  • Hungarian Atlas of Historic Towns, , with all published atlases available online: , please click on “Contents”Historiographical overviews:- H. Németh István, Katalin Szende, Research on the Towns of Medieval and Early Modern Hungary since 1989, in: Vana Tallinn XXV (2014), 266–294.- H. Németh, István, Neue Wege der frühneuzeitlichen ungarischen Stadtgeschichtsschreibung, in: Documenta Pragensia, 471–492.- Szende, Katalin, Die Erforschung der mittelalterlichen Städte Ungarns seit 1989, in: Städte im Mittelalter und in der frühen Neuzeit als Forschungsthema in den letzten Zwanzig Jahren, hg. vom Archiv der Hauptstadt Prag, Prag 2013 (Documenta Pragensia 32), 439–469.- Szende, Katalin, Stadtgeschichte in der Nachbarschaft: eine ungarische Perspektive. In: Pro civitate Austriae. Informationen zur Stadtgeschichtsforschung in Österreich. NF Heft 25 (2020), 53-68.-Bácskai, Vera, Várostörténet [Urban history] in Bódy, Zsombor and Ö. Kovács, József (eds.): Bevezetés a társadalomtörténetbe. 2nd. ed. Budapest: Osiris, 2006. 243-257. (in Hungarian)-Szívós, Erika, ‘Hungary’ in Rodger, Richard and Denis Menjot eds., Teaching Urban History in Europe. Leicester, UK: Centre for Urban History, 2006. 87-98.-Szívós Erika, A várostörténet intézményesülése és oktatása Magyarországon a rendszerváltástól napjainkig [The institutionalization of urban history and its place in higher education in Hungary from the change of regime (1990) to the present]. In Szívós, Erika, Az öröklött város, Városi tér, kultúra és emlékezet a 19-21. században. Budapest: Budapest Főváros Levéltára, 2014. 183-198. (in Hungarian)-Gyáni, Gábor, Mai várostörténet-írásunk. In: Gyáni Gábor: Történészdiskurzusok. Budapest, L’Harmattan, 2002. 67-77. (in Hungarian)


  • (1) Hungary within its current borders is not identical with the extent of the country before 1920. Regarding administration, our responses to this questionnaire pertain to Hungary as a state in our times, however, research on cities and towns f Hungary in a historical perspective cover the entire Carpathian Basin. For a full overview, please also consult the entries on Austria, Croatia, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia and the Ukraine.