4.2. The Cartographic Collection of the Map Room of the Hungarian Institute and Museum of War History

The Map Room of War History was founded in its present form in 1954. The backbone of its total collection was made up of two sets of earlier materials:
The collection of the Map Room grew steadily partly by old maps (heritages, materials of other discontinued collections), partly by new acquisitions (military map series, aerial photographs, other civil maps). The total collection now numbers nearly 400,000 items (maps, atlases, globes, relief maps, professional journals, books, aerial photographs), and by sheer size it constitutes the largest cartographic collection in Hungary.

Subdivision of the Cartographic Collection

The majority of maps are grouped according to the following geographical-regional divisions:

Within the territorial divisions there are the following thematic classes:
Those below constitute distinct classes:
One of the most important parts of the sphere of collection of the Map Room is made up of the military series based on detailed field surveys, showing both Hungarian and foreign territories. In Hungary only the Map Room possesses complete series of the so-called first (1772-1784), second (1806-1869) and third (1869-1884) military surveys in both basic and derived scales. The original coloured manuscript sheets of the first and second military surveys are kept in the Kriegsarchiv of Vienna. Until recently the Map Room has had black-and-white copies of the originals in the same size. At present the original maps are being photocopied in colour through the work of the Representative Office of the Hungarian Institute and Museum of War History. Usefulness, aesthetic value of these copied maps are all but identical with those of the original ones. Continued work on this project will enable Hungarian scholars to study these series of unprecedented value in much better quality.

The collection consisting of the military series published by the Royal Hungarian Cartographic Institute, the first independent military mapping body in Hungary, established after the first world war, can also be considered as complete, both for basic survey and derived scales.
The Map Room's collecting interests also cover military series of different scales and publishing years published after the second world war in a different mapping and projection (Gauss-Krüger) system. Given that restrictions on use of these maps ("secret") were lifted in 1992, they are now easily accessible to researchers.
The 80,000-piece collection of aerial photographs also has considerable value. A smaller part of them was made before the second world war, while most of them are copies of air photos made for mapping purposes during the 1950s, '60s and '70s.

Basic registration arrangement of materials of the Map Room has been put into effect. Better orientation among materials is assisted by a recording system, various study aid tools and index maps.
Computer processing of the collection has also started.
Lists of geographical names of most sheets have also been processed, alphabetically arranged and printed (close to 30,000 items). Further plans call for the computerization of the complete recording system.

The collection grows by some 4-5 thousand new items each year, a smaller part of them being old maps (purchase of bequests), new books and other publications, while most of them are deposit copies of the military series.

The Map Room is a public collection open to the research public from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on workdays.
The number of research people keeps growing (500 in 1994).
Black-and-white photo and xerox copies of maps are available on order.
Publications (limited circulation) of the Map Room in recent years include:

Dr. Annamária JANKÓ,
Director of the Map Room Budapest

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