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HU OSA 302
Fonds 302: Gábor Demszky Personal Papers

Date(s) 1972-2010

Extent and medium

Estimated total:
53 linear meters textual materials, 417 Archival boxes, 37 photographs, 39 VHS casettes
Currently processed:
414 Archival boxes, 52 linear meters
36 Digital - Video, 0.04 linear meters
Total: 52 linear meters

Name of creator(s)

Demszky, Gábor, Mayor of Budapest (1990-2010)

Administrative/Biographical history

Archival history

Gábor Demszky was the founder and director of the biggest Hungarian samizdat publishing house (AB Publisher) between 1981 and 1989. He was also the editor-in-chief and publisher of the samizdat periodical Hírmondó (Herald). He took part and helped the publication of other underground literature, such as Beszélő and Független Demokrata. During these activities he collected and accumulated the richest collection of publications, artefacts and remnants of the Hungarian samizdat. Gábor Demszky donated his samizdat collection to OSA on March 15, 1995.

After the end of his terms as Mayor of Budapest in 2010, papers, mainly on urban policy, from his time in office were added to the collection. The majority of these documents was created by the Mayor’s Office, while others by municipal institutions, civil organizations and local government agencies.

Documents of the state security organs on the surveillance of Gábor Demszky and other members of the democratic opposition, records of the libel law suit against extreme-right wing politician István Csurka, as well as the documents on the history of the Alliance of Free Democrats (SZDSZ) pre-selected by Demszky were added to the collection in the same year.

Scope and content

The collection contains Demszky's own publications and works, printed, published and manuscripts; series of the most famous Hungarian samizdat peridicals, including Beszélő, Hírmondó, Független Demokrata; manuscripts of the most important samizdat books published in the 80s by AB Publisher and others; documents of the Hungarian political opposition during the 80s; printing sheets and galley proofs, illustrations and cover designs of the Hungarian samizdat publishers; tools, printing machines and raw materials for creating underground publications.

The subfonds State Security and Legal Files is made up of police and state security surveillance documents created in the 1970s and 80s on the activities of Gábor Demszky and the democratic opposition. This collection includes some of the documents on a disciplinary case against university student Gábor Demszky in 1972 as well as Demszky’s libel law suit against the extreme-right wing politician István Csurka.

The subfonds Records of the Budapest City Council includes documents on Budapest’s urban policy collected and selected by Gábor Demszky as Mayor of Budapest. In addition to Assembly, General Staff and House Committee resolutions, agendas and memos, the collection includes the thematic records and publications on big investments after the regime change as well as the full collection of press monitoring by the Press Office of the Council between 1990 and 2010.

The subfonds Records of the Mayor of Budapest is made up of documents of the sessions of the Mayor’s Cabinet, which worked closely with the Mayor, as well as the press releases of the Mayor’s Office, correspondence, speeches and video recordings of his public appearances.

The subfonds Records of SZDSZ includes the documents of the Alliance of Free Democrats pre-selected by Gábor Demszky and his colleagues.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information

During processing, duplicates were removed.

Accruals Expected

System of arrangement

Conditions governing access

The collection is freely researchable. The series HU OSA 302-5-2 SZDSZ Presidium Papers is not accessible until unspecified date.

Conditions governing reproduction

For purposes of research and education, the documents can be copied in OSA's Research Room.

Language/scripts of material

English, Hungarian, Polish (Hungarian, English, French)

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Mostly printed, typed and hand written documents. The videos are digitized copies of VHS cassettes.

Related units of description

Date(s) of descriptions

Described by András Mink, 15 April 2002.
Revised by Örs Lehel Tari, 15 October 2014 and Csaba Szilágyi, 7 January 2015.
Online version updated 8 January 2015
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