Hungaricana is a common portal of Hungarian archives, museums and libraries operated by the Library of the Hungarian Parliament. Hungaricana aggregates and presents the results of various digitization projects financed by the NKA (National Cultural Fund for Hungary) in the past years and aims at preserving as well as publishing the cultural heritage of Hungary on a single unified site. Until today more than 100 Hungarian and foreign institutions have contributed to the project by sharing their digitized content including databases, archive records, documents, images, maps and postcards on the Hungaricana portal. The digitized documents are available for free download up to 25 pages at a time.
Among a wealth of Hungaricana digital holdings we find many hundred thousand digitized pages of our library’s Hungarian Parliamentary Collection. Verbatim reports of plenary debates from 1861 to 1990, parliamentary almanacs from 1884 to 1939 as well as standing orders, budgets and final accounts dating back to 1848 are all accessible on the portal.
The Rare Books and Manuscripts Collection consists of approximately 8000 volumes covering various subject areas ranging from law, politics, legislation, public administration and history to geography, economics, theology, military sciences and literature. There are 25 books in the collection published in the 16th century and a significant slice of the collection dates from the 17-18th century including first editions of laws, regulations and comprehensive works on church law, private law, constitutional law or public law.
An MP and established book collector, Ignác Ghyczy’s (1799–1870) bequest also serves as a remarkable part of the collection. 14,500 volumes of his priceless private collection were donated by his heirs to the then Library of the House of Representatives in 1872. Our rare books related to Hungarian parliamentarism come from Pressburg county magistrate and parliamentary envoy, György Gyurikovits’ (1780–1848) bequest and are available for use in the Hungarian Parliamentary Collection.
Our oldest book is a 1517 edition of István Werbőczy’s Tripartitum. Further highly valuable volumes in the Rare Books and Manuscripts Collection are Bonfini’s Rerum Ungaricum edited by János Zsámboki (1581), Ortelius’ Theatrum orbis terrarum (1595), Ferenc Nádasdi’s Mausoleum (1664) and Articuli of the Ónod Diet (1707).
A major part of the Repository is composed of plans designed prior to and during the construction of the House of Parliament, that is between the 1880s and the turn of the 20th century. In the digital collection you may browse all the original architectural plans and detail drawings, including floor and site plans, elevation drawings as well as prints, conceived by reputable design companies working under the supervision of Steindl himself. The plans are diverse with respect to carrier material and drawing technique: in the collection you may find paper as well as canvas sheets of black ink, coloured ink and pencil drawings.
The Repository is made complete by official documents and papers in relation with the construction of the House. In the papers you may encounter the names of renowned craftsmen and artists such as Vilmos Zsolnay, Miksa Róth, Endre Thék, Gyula Jungfer or Mátyás Zellerin. In addition, the Repository includes the construction documents and architectural plans of the National Assembly’s Tenement House in Balassi Street created by the above mentioned workshops and masters.
The unique collection of architectural plans was secured against the 1944 siege in the air-raid shelter of the National Archives. As a result of our latest digitization project, the entire holdings have now become available for research to the general public, while the physical collection was moved back into the Parliament’s building until 1947, where it has been preserved and maintained ever since by the Technical Department of the Office of the National Assembly.
The Image and Audiovisual Repository of the Museum of the National Assembly has been established to facilitate the activities of the Museum, the Directorate of Cultural Affairs and the entire Office of the National Assembly in relation to research, exhibition methodology, publishing and events management respectively.
As a primary source of research, the virtual archive focusses mainly on the past and present of Hungarian parliamentarism and encompasses predominantly digital images depicting historical as well as contemporary events, venues, buildings, artefacts, documents and people. These include portraits of MPs, speakers, historical figures, pictures of events referring to the House and Kossuth tér, along with the construction and art history of the Parliament’s building.
Furthermore, the Image Repository serves as the institutional archive of the Museum of the National Assembly and, as such, one of its chief objectives is to reconstruct the collection of the bygone first Parliamentary Museum and to collect and publish all the visual materials relevant to the research activities and exhibitions of the current Museum.
We have digitized 2 million pages of 5272 volumes under the Digitized Parliamentary Database Project. Among digitized documents there are important documents of and literature on public administration, history, Hungary’s policies affecting Hungarian communities abroad and the National Assembly, including outstanding works of noted authors. Our focus was mostly on works of the 1867-1945 period due, among other things, to copyright constraints.
A great part of legal periodicals published before 1945 has been digitized. The digitized holdings of primary sources of law (gazettes and law reports) have considerably been increased. Full runs of major law reports have also been digitized.
From among official gazettes, we digitized the most important ministerial gazettes (home affairs, justice, foreign affairs, agriculture, education and culture).