Digital Collections

Collection of Archival Extracts


The Collection of Archival Extracts of the Research Institute for Art History collects data from different national, regional and local archives that are considered significant from an art historical point of view or that could be profitable for art historical research. The systematic research and gathering of data started in 1950. Data of the medieval, baroque and 19th century art were collected and registered from the archives in Hungary that showed relevance for art historical research. As a result of this systematic work, more than 300 000 extracts have been produced by now. The collection was further enriched by purchases of bequests, by donations, records or data taken over from other institutions. The collection has been fully digitalized, please click here for online consultation (in Hungarian).


The Photographic Collection of the Institute of Art History of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences is consisted of photographs of Hungarian art objects, artists and buildings without any time and geographic boundaries. The Analog Collection was formed between 1955 and 2003. The Photographic Collection accumulated over half a century ago reflects the research and publishing activities of the institute. The collection currently counts some 80,000 recordings. The online digitized material of the Photobook is available to the general public currently recording about 80,000 hits. The collection has been fully digitalized, please click here for the online catalogue (in Hungarian). 


The collection includes biographical and bibliographical data, articles and small prints from Hungarian and Hungarian artists. The collection is based on Gyula Szentiványi's collection of notes and small prints who planned to write the 'Encyclopædia of Hungarian Art' in the first half of the 20th century. The first volume of the series appeared in 1915, but no further volumes were released. The collection of biographical and bibliographical data was continued by the Institute of Art History and its predecesors. Nowadays, this collection comprises several million items. For the digitalized manuscript please click here (in Hungarian).

Selected documents of the Archive

Portraits of artists and intellectuals from Café Japán

japankavehaz The following portraits and caricatures can be found in the Archive’s fonds titled Képzőművészeti szövetségek iratai, “Documents of the Alliance of Hungarian Artists” (MDK-C-I-2/1179.1–116). Aside from a few exceptions, they were all drawn by Lajos Szentgyörgyvári Gyenes, who was the secretary general (and later, the president) of Magyar Képzőművészek Országos Szövetsége (Hungarian National Alliance of Artists) from 1932 on. We came in possession of the portrait series as part of the artist’s bequest. A prominent organiser in art life at the time, Szentgyörgyvári made drawings of Café Japán’s regulars for more than a decade, starting at the end of the 1920s. The series contains the portraits of about 80 artists and intellectuals.

Transylvanian castles, palaces, and churches

Jozef Fischer

Our Archive holds the Photographs by Josef Fischer (fond ID: MKCS-C-I-121), who was employed in the Sibiu (in Hungarian: Nagyszeben, in German: Hermannstadt) workshop of his famous brother, the photographer Emil Fischer (1873-1965). The majority of Emil’s photos later ended up in the Brukenthal Museum in Sibiu, Romania. The bequest contains numerous glass negatives of Transylvanian monuments. These are complemented by the meticulously compiled and labeled photo album (Ungarische Schlösser und Trachten), whose pasted photographs were in part based on the negatives. You can find in our database an extended selection from Josef Fischer’s glass negatives, mainly photos of castles, palaces and churches as well as some city views from Transylvania.

Selection from the legacy of the painter Irma Demeczkyné Wolf

Válogatás Demeczkyné Wolf Irma hagyatékából

The Archive of the Institute contains the estate of the painter Irma Demeczkyné Wolf (fond ID: MKCS-C-I-80). Irma Demeczkyné  Wolf (1874, Budapest-1957, Budapest) was a student at the University of Fine Arts, where his masters were the some of the great Hungarian masters of art of the late 19th early 20th century: Bertalan Székely, Robert Nádler, Károly Lotz and Lajos Deák Ébner. The very varied material of her estate contains original works from her young age and documents related to her (such as letters, small prints, photographs). 

Letters, photos and documents from the Artist Colony of Nagybánya

Nagybánya The Nagybánya Artist Colony, established in 1896, has had a major impact on modern Hungarian art in the first half of the 20th century. In the collection of the Archives there are a large number of written and visual documents (such as posters, letters, postcards, photographs, small prints, newspapers) written by masters and students of this outstanding painting school. Below, we have compiled a selection that gives a glimpse into the life of the colony from the foundation until the middle of the century. 

János Bende: The History of Fine Arts Associations (1951-1953)


The Archive keeps the manuscript of the art historian János Bende (1882-1960) of the former secretary of the National Salon (fond ID: MDK-C-II-20). His manuscript entitled The History of Fine Arts Associations was written in 1951-1953, and it reviews the history of Hungarian art associations and exhibition places from the beginning of the 19th century to 1950. The manuscript can be searched in full in the database or by chapters. The author's reminders can be read in a separate folder. 

Art-related articles from periodicals


The collection of Archive contains the extracts from some important artistic periodicals of 19-20. century (fond ID: MKCS-C-I-127) The tens of thousands of notes focuses on the art historical content of periodicals and newspapers. The full database of periodicals (title, processed year) contains the editions of 11 periodicals (Archaeologiai Értesítő, Archaeologiai Közlemények, Bauzeitung für Ungarn, Építési Ipar, Hölgyfutár, Pester Lloyd, Pesti Divatlap, Szabad Nép, Századok, Tér és Forma, Tudományos Gyüjtemény), which can be researched by title, and year of publication. 

Digital galleries

Headquarters of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences

A Magyar Tudományos Akadémia székháza

The headquarters of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in Széchenyi István square is one of the most distinguised representative buildings of Budapest, a symbol of Hungarian science. The building was opened in 1865. Although the institution itself was founded in 1825 by Count István Széchenyi, his palace was raised only in 1862-1865 according to plans by the Berlin-based architect August Friedrich Stüler. The Academy's headquarters at that time was a pioneering example of neoclassical architecture in Hungary, which also influenced the architectural development of the Hungarian capital. The elegant architecture of the interior, the decorative and sculptural decoration of its main halls is worthy of its high priority.For the anniversary, the photographer of the Institute of Art History, Research Centre for the Humanities of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Péter Hámori, has made a set of photographs of Ödön Lechner’works. Photographs can be used under the Attribution licence of Creative Commons.

Lechner Buildings


Ödön Lechner (1845-1914) is one of the greatest and most original creators of Hungarian architecture, who also owns a distinguished place among the architectural geniuses of the early 20th century. In 2014 we remembered the 100th anniversary of his death, which was included in UNESCO’s list of international anniversaries. On this occasion, the Museum of Applied Arts and the Institute of of HAS RCH jointly organized an international, English-Hungarian scientific conference and a large-scale exhibition. In connection with the conference and the exhibition, the Institute of Art History paid special attention to contribute to the comprehensive dissemination of the work of Ödön Lechner by producing a high quality photo series and ensuring its public accessibility. For the anniversary of its inaguration the photographer of the Institute of Art History, Research Centre for the Humanities of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Péter Hámori, has made a set of photographs of Ödön Lechner’works. (Photographs of the Museum of Applied Arts and the hotel at Szekszárd are by József Sisa). Photographs can be used under the Attribution licence of Creative Commons.

Architectural Heritage of Budapest



One of the most receent project of our institute aimed at examining the archaeological heritage of Budapest, the first step we began this was to list systematically the buildings of Lipótváros (the Northern part of the inner city in district 5). In the gallery, which we are constantly expanding, you can see the photographs of the buildings. In this way we would like to document this almost unparalleled complex of buildings in Budapest, the true concentration of late historicizm and Art Nouveau architecture with both detailed photographic material and reliable data. The original photographs are made in very high resolution, with a low resolution view in the gallery. The order of the folders follows today's street names and house numbers, and their names correspond to it. If it is a major public building, the name of the folder includes its original short form name.

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