Hungarian Jewish Archives

Hungarian Jewish Archives

A collection of archives and a research room can be found in the Great Synagogue. Today’s collection was established in 1994, and pieces were collected from several archival collections. The earliest collection came from the first decades of the 20th century when the depopulating rural, small-town Jewish communities’ documentary materials were collected. The city had not tolerated Jewish people for a long time. II. Joseph’s regulation broke the prohibition in 1783. At that time there lived fourteen Jewish families in the immediate vicinity of Budapest, in the great mansion of Barons Orczy. Their numbers increased rapidly. Most of the largest Jewish community of the era moved from Óbuda, but many of them came from other areas of the Habsburg empire, Moravia and Galicia as well. The story of the Jewish quarter can be discovered through the Hungarian Jewish Archives, located at Wesselényi Street 7. It helps to understand that era with contemporary diaries, love letters, applications and licenses. In their permanent exhibition some 18th-century wimpels can be seen (the wimpel is also known as ’tórapólya’, used in circumsicion of baby boys, divided into four parts, long strips are sewn together, decorated with sampler, given to the synagogue), but there you can find the old treasury of the Great Synagogue,or the old kosher shambles of Dezső Kővári that has been operating since 1914.

In the archival material can be found the world’s largest online, searchable collection of reminiscences, the www.degob.hu.

The Family Research Center is also located at Wesselényi Street 7. Multilingual, trained staff helps in collecting the genealogical datas. Many useful and interesting pieces of information can be found there, for example memory books of the remaining communities, registered lists, censuses, lists of Holocaust victims, databases of cemeteries, and photos and postcards of the synagogues and places of historical works, Jewish residential houses or other attractions are also available.