The BME Archives has been functioning as the organ of the university library since 1972. The records of the Rectorate were stored in the basement of the Central Library. The first proposal for the classification and processing was submitted in 1958 after the research on the University’s history had started and it had revealed that the documents contained historical data had not been in a researchable condition. The University’s Council on 10 May 1971 made decision about the establishment of the Archives. Since the conditions of the Archives had not met yet with the criteria of receiving the status of special collection, the institution was established in 1972 as department of the Central Library and the processing as well as the classifying of the collected documents got started. The further collection of the valuable documents was hindered by the lack of storage but this obstacle was ceased in 1984 by the opening of the Archives’ new premises. Following this, the conditions for the unhindered archivists’ work (the collection and processing the records as well as facilitating the research enquiry and data services) were provided. On 1 January 1993, the Archives was finally given special collection status. In the summer of the same year the institution took part in the foundation of the Association of Budapest-Gödöllő University and College Archives (since 2001: University Archives and the Association of the Archives of Hungarian Higher Education). In 2012 construction works started in order to establish the new premises of the Archives in the main building of the University. In the spring of 2013 new office, research room and repository were opened with all solemnity.
The BME Archives collects, classifies and preserves the valuable documents of the BME and its legal predecessors. Thus historical records related to the Rectorate, dean’s offices, directorate generals for financial and technical affairs and other organisational units (for instance the Central Office of Education), furthermore the documents concerned with the University’s several boards, committees, departments and institutions, library, hostels, social, cultural and sport associations fall within the Archives’ range of collection. Moreover it is responsible for collecting the private papers and bequests of the prominent University professors, preserving the life interviews of teachers and graduated students as well as documents concerned with their university careers. The amount of the records kept in the Archives is 1138 linear meters. These are classified into 81 fonds and cover the period 1846-2000.
Regarding the records of the Rectorate and the Directorate, the Archives has been possessing complete documentation since the foundation of its legal predecessor in 1846. Complete as well the series of several registers of the students (register-books, reports on comprehensive, state and doctoral examinations, etc.) With reference to their documentary value, the minutes of various councils (such as the council of the University, the Rectorate or the faculties) are the most important ones among the documents preserved in the Archives. Apart from these, the university programmes, timetables, curriculums and documents dealing with the history of the organs of the University or educational programs are the most popular records among the researchers. Concerning the bequests of the professors, the papers of Donát Bánki is the richest and most valuable.
The archives provide a research and customer service to help users access and use the information contained in the archives. It also develops guides to facilitate the use of information and speed up the provision of information. The BME Archives’ resources (list of fonds and subfonds, repertory, agendas of meetings of the governing bodies) are available online, and the minutes of meetings of the governing bodies from 1876–1991 can be researched on Hungaricana.
The Archives controls the document management at the University and due to this assists the work of the University’s staff. The Archives enriches the cultural life of the University (by organising exhibitions and submitting archival records and photos to be included in University publications), helps to foster a good community spirit and enhances the image of the University.