The Historical Archives of the Hungarian State Security was founded as the legal successor of the Historical Office by the Act III of 2003. The institution is a national special collection designated by the Archival Act. In terms of legal status the Historical Archives is totally independent, exercising authority over its administration of finances. The Archives is situated as a separated item in the budget law defined by the Parliament. The work of the Historical Archives is controlled by the President of the Parliament.
The main tasks of the Archives:
a, ensuring insight for the citizens: compensation through providing information of those who concerned by the records. Any of them shall read and obtain a copy of the documents and fragments subject to them or their relatives under the conditions laid down by the Act;
b, providing possibility to research the records, which can be called collective compensation by furnishing information, because that means a basis, a fertile soil for the historical materials dealing with the study of the near past;
c, handling and classifying the records regarding such an archivist approach which contributes the executing the said two tasks; furthermore researching the records of the Historical Archives and other research centres, collections concerned with the state security as well as publishing the results of that work; participation in research projects of the political science and the modern history focusing on the structure and functions of the authorities of the period, 1944-1990;
d., contribution to implement the archival sources in the schools and the spheres of public education.
The Historical Archives preserves the documents related to the activity of Hungarian authorities which facilitated state security services between 21 December 1944 and 14 February 1990. The amount of the documents kept in the Archives was 4000 linear meters at the end of 2012. Different types of files form the two third of them, while to the rest belong documents with reference to the activity of the former state security organisations as well as the collections, background materials created by them. Regarding the type of the data carrier, the most of the records kept in the Archives are in paper, but there are large amount of microfilms containing contemporary copies of the operative and investigation files, and the Daily Operative Information Records (DOIR).
The Historical Archives due to the regulations ensures the exercise the right of information self-determination, with other words, the right to the familiarization with their personal data for those concerned or can be related to the documents. The Act III of 2013 which regulates the work of the Historical Archives of the Hungarian State Security, provides basically two ways of researching for those who are interested. The first is the academic research, the other one is the so called private research. Further information about this and other topics related to the Archive is available on the website of the Historical Archives: www.abtl.hu.