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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Hungarian Language: History

Early Hungarian Period

The chronicler in the "S" initial of the Illustrated Chronicle  Képes Krónika (Chronicon Pictum) I. Magyar Helikon, Budapest, 1964, p 2. (f 1b), National Széchényi Library, Budapest



Can you learn Hungarian grammar and still enjoy viewing manuscripts and historical documents in the Old Hungarian period? The richness of the Hungarian language might entice you to look into the past. 


Hungarian Digital Archive of Pictures

Image of a scribe with the text at the bottom

Digital Archive of Pictures

Is a picture still worth a thousand words? When you see the scope of the Hungarian Digital Archive, you will become a true believer in the saying.  The digital archive images are organized by the following categories: natural sciences, mathematics, technology, economics, social sciences, cultural arts, literature, maps, musical scores, and miscellaneous images.  You can easily export these images for any classroom presentation!

Hungarian Kings

Screen shot of a sculpture taken from the below linked website


The life of King István I of Hungary aka Saint Stephen aka the "first king of Hungary" is well-known. Who came after King István?  This online resource tracks the fortunes of other members of the Árpád Dynasty. 


Hungarian History: Overview

BBC News provides a wonderful timeline of the history of Hungary, beginning in the 9th century and covering periods of early history, Habsburg rule, restored independence, revolution, modern change, Hungary in the EU, and other history since the turn of the millennium. 

Published in 1897, The millennium of Hungary and its people, is a collection of essays on Hungarian history and culture.  Edited by Joseph De Jekelfalussy and contributions from other members of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, this work provides an excellent introduction to Hungarian history. An open access version is available here.

UIUC has published a helpful LibGuide with sources involving the Hungarian Revolution of 1956.

"The Oral History Archive (OHA) attached to the 1956 Institute in Budapest has been preserving and processing the recollections of more than a thousand witnesses. Its scholarly roots go back to the turn of the 1970s and 1980s. It became clear to many people at this time that personal testimony from those who had lived and suffered through the period formed the only available source for researching the history of Hungary’s communist period, including the 1956 revolution." --The History and Work of the Oral History Archive, 2015

The Hungarian Language

Map of Uralic language family tree

Source: Daniel Abondolo, "Hungarian"(pp. 428-456), IN: The Uralic languages.  Edited by Daniel Abondolo.  Series: Routledge Language Family Series.  London: Routledge, 1998.  ISBN: 0-415-08198-X














Source: Éva Molnár, "Hungary: Essential Facts, Figures & Pictures" (pp. 31-32). Budapest: MTI Media Data Bank, 1995. ISBN: 963-7560-30-0