Állambiztonsági Szolgálatok Történeti Levéltára
- Historical Archives of the Hungarian State Security
The foundation of the Archives was due to an Act of the Constitutional Court of Hungary. In 1994, the Constitutional Court was examining the constitutionality of the law that had ordered the lustration of people in important public positions. They stated that the Parliament acted against the Constitution by not providing for people’s informational self-determination when they ordered their lustration. At the same time the Parliament was obligated to make an end to this anti-constitutional situation by legislating people’s right to become acquainted with all the personal data gathered and kept by State Security Organizations. Modifying the Law of Screening in 1997, the Parliament set up the Historical Office, which was archives despite its name. In 2003, as a by-product of the scandal following the publicity of the State Security past of the then Prime Minister, Parliament founded the Historical Archives of the Hungarian State Security (hereafter: Historical Archives orÁBTL) by a new Act. The Historical Archives is the legal successor of the Historical Office. The Historical Archives regularly co-operates with organizations and institutions in Hungary and abroad. The institute conducts scholarly research projects, organizes public lectures, exhibitions and international conferences. The Historical Archives' own research department and visiting scholars regularly publish their results in the publications of the institute as well as on its website (http://www.betekinto.hu/).
Geographical and Cultural Context
Archival and Other Holdings
The Historical Archives preserves and handles the documents of the former State Security Organizations dating from the period between December 21, 1944, and February 14, 1990, and the documents of the Screening Committee controlling certain persons performing important, public confidence and public opinion forming positions from the period 1994 and 2005. The archival material of the Historical Archives is divided into sections. The largest and most important one is Section 3 Network, operative and investigation files (1851) 1945-90 (2003), which contains the majority of the documents of the Archives, including investigation files, operation files, work files, enlisting files etc. At the end of 2011, the quantity of documents kept in the Historical Archives was 3953 linear metres. More than two thirds of this quantity are documents of different types of files. The rest is made up of functional documents of the former State Security Organizations and the collections, background documents and contemporary registers created and used by those organizations. The Archives maintains mainly paper-based records, but we also have large quantities of contemporary security microfilm copies of investigation and operation files and Daily Operation Information Reports.
Finding Aids, Guides, and Publication
On-line finding aids: http://www.abtl.hu/kutatoterem/fond_allagjegyzek (in Hungarian)
The Historical Archives of the Hungarian State Security is open to researchers on Mondays and Wednesdays from 9am to 4 pm and on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10am to 6 pm.
In order to reach the Historical Archives of the Hungarian State Security we suggest taking Metro Line no. 1. or Trams no. 4 or 6 to the stop Oktogon. From there, the institute is about 300 metre walk.
Archival Guide USHMMYad Vashem