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Hungarian Newspapers at the Library of Congress

1956 Revolution - Newspapers and Other Sources

Cartoon drawing of Soviet tank, young men gunned down, on the wall above the gun holes it is written RUSKIES GO HOME
Block, Herbert. Handwriting on the wall. 1956. Cartoon Drawings: Herblock Collection. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

Newspapers and other printed materials such as leaflets and posters published in Hungary during the 1956 revolution present a captivating account of the events and debates of that time, but were hard to access for many decades. Some of the publications only appeared during the revolution, some changed name after the revolution, and some altogether ceased to be printed once the revolution was defeated, making them hard to find in the newspaper collections of foreign libraries. Owning such materials was illegal in Hungary after the revolution, and Hungarian libraries did not make their collections from those days available to the general public for decades. Luckily, at present here are many ways to read those newspapers:

  • the Hungarian National Library digitized ten newspapers in their collection and has made them freely available: Elektronikus Periodika Archívum és Adatbázis.1956-os kiadványok. External
  • documents and newspapers are available on hungaricana.hu. You can use this canned search External for publications from the days of the revolution.
  • ELTE university made a collection of 127 titles freely available online https://edit.elte.hu/xmlui/handle/10831/33739 External
  • many periodicals are available in the subscription database ADT External that allows full text search with an easy option to have them translated into English. Here External is a search for newspapers published during the days of the revolution.
  • there are compilations printed in books. Below you can find a list of such books available at the Library of Congress.
  • the Library of Congress has two microfilm reels of newspapers and pamphlets printed during the revolution Their content is listed below, with links to online sources where available, for easier access.

A few important dates: The revolution started on October 23 in 1956. Soviet forces replaced the revolutionary government on November 4, and many Budapest papers were censored after that. Fighting ended on November 11. Regional papers published free content longer than the papers from Budapest, but they too were censored after November 11.

The Library of Congress has two microfilm reels, Miscellaneous Hungarian Newspapers from the 1956 Revolution and A Collection of Hungarian Newspapers and Pamphlets Published during the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, which contain newspapers and other materials published in Hungary during and after the Revolution, from the first day of the revolution -- October 23 -- until December 31, 1956.

Around 1960 the Library of Congress' Photoduplication Service assembled two reels of microfilm containing issues of newspapers, handbills, and announcements published in Hungary during and immediately after the 1956 Revolution. The two reels appear to have been filmed independently of each other and are housed in separate locations.

The first reel (hereafter noted as Reel 1), Miscellaneous Hungarian Newspapers from the 1956 Revolution, contains 26 newspaper titles, plus a handbill published by the Soviet forces stationed in Hungary at that time. This newspaper count differs from the Library of Congress catalog record, which indicates 23 titles, and the table of contents on the reel itself, which indicates 16. This reel (356A) may be requested in the Library's Newspaper and Current Periodical Reading Room, located in the Library's James Madison Building LM133.

The second reel (Reel 2), A Collection of Hungarian Newspapers and Pamphlets Published during the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, contains 18 newspaper titles followed by images of 30 handbills and announcements, issued during and after the Revolution. There is also a three-page index of 17 terms found throughout the reel, for such topics as the "Army's role in the revolution," "Demands," "Life in Budapest during the fighting," etc, as well as a key to the abbreviations used in the index. This reel (Microfilm 7260 AN) may be requested in the Library's Microform and Electronic Resources Center, located in room LJ-139 in the Thomas Jefferson Building. The originals found on Reel 2 form the Theodore E. Kyriak Collection at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, and a finding aid External link to this collection may be viewed at the Online Archive of California External link site.

Listed below are the newspaper titles of the two reels, combined and in alphabetical order, followed by handbills and other miscellanea. Each entry is accompanied by its bibliographic record in the catalog of the National Széchényi Library External link (Országos Széchényi Könyvtár -- OSzK), in Budapest. The OSzK record provides more detail about the titles than the corresponding records, where they exist, in the Library of Congress catalog. Naturally, the OSzK record is in Hungarian. The table also contains links to digitized versions that are available online.

Title

with link to catalog record

Place of publication Issues LC has on microfilm Reel number Free access online In subscription database Hungarian National Library record
Budai hírlap Budapest one issue, no date Reel 1      
Délmagyarország Szeged Oct 23, 24 Reel 1 Oct 2-31 External
Nov 1-13 External
  OSzK External
Dunántúli napló Pécs Oct 24-25, 27, 29-30;
Nov 5;
Dec 5-6, 8, 9, 11-16, 18-24, 28-31
Reel 1 Oct 2-30 External
Nov 2-30 External
Oct 2-30;
Nov 1-30 External
OSzK External
Egyetemi ífjúság Budapest one issue, no date Reel 1 Oct 17, 29, 31;
Nov 2, 4 External
  OSzK External
Esti hírlap Budapest Dec 24, 28-31 Reel 1 Oct 29 (no date printed on it) External Dec 24, 28-31 External OSzK External
Északmagyarország Miskolc Oct 31; Nov 2, 9;
Dec 6, 8, 18, 21, 28-31
Reel 1 Oct 2-31 External
Dec 7, 18 External
  OSzK External
Fejér megyei hírlap Székesfehérvár Dec 7-9, 11-16, 18-23, 28-31 Reel 1 Nov 7-9, 11, 13-18, 20-25, 27-30 External Oct 2-26 External OSzK External
Fejér megyei néplap Székesfehérvár Oct 24-25 Reel 1     OSzK External
Győr-Sopron megyei hírlap Győr Oct 26; Nov 1, 3 Reel 1 Oct 25, 28 External   OSzK External
Hazánk Győr Nov 10, 20, 24 Reel 1 Nov 4 External ;
Nov 10-11, 13-17, 20;
Dec 4-9 External
  OSzK External
Hétfői hírlap Budapest Oct 29 Reel 1
Reel 2
Oct 15, 22, 29 External   OSzK External
Igazság Budapest Nov 1 Reel 1
Reel 2
Oct 30-31;
Nov 1-3, 6, 7 External
  OSzK External
Kis ujsag Budapest Nov 2 Reel 2 Nov 1-3 External   OSzK External
Kisalföld Győr Nov 10 Reel 1 Nov 8-11, 13, 15-18, 20-25, 27-30 External   OSzK External
Magyar függetlenség Budapest Nov 1 (2 issues/day) Reel 1 Oct 31; Nov 1-3 External   OSzK External
    Oct 31; Nov 2 Reel 2      
Magyar honvéd Budapest Oct 30; Nov 1 Reel 2 Oct 30-31;
Nov 1-3, 13, 19-23 External
  OSzK External
Magyar ifjuság Budapest Nov 2, 3 Reel 2 Nov 1-3 External
Nov 1-4 External
  OSzK External
Magyar nemzet Budapest Nov 2 Reel 2 Oct 23-26, 30, 31; Nov 1-4 External   OSzK External
Magyar szabadság Budapest Nov 1 Reel 1 Oct 30, Nov 1, 3 External   OSzK External
Magyar világ Budapest Nov 2 Reel 2 Nov 1-3 External   OSzK External
Mai nap Budapest Dec 14-16, 18-21 Reel 1 Dec 2, 4-21 External   OSzK External
Népakarat Budapest Nov 25, 27-30;
Dec 1-2, 4-9, 11-16, 18-23, 25, 28-30
Reel 1 Nov 1-4 External
Nov 1-4, 11, 18, 20-23, 25, 27-30 External
Nov 1-30 External OSzK External
Néphadsereg Budapest Oct 29 Reel 2 Oct 29 External   OSzK External
Néplap Debrecen Oct 24-25 Reel 1 Oct 25, 28, 30 External   OSzK External
Népszabadság Budapest Nov 22, 27-30;
Dec 1, 2, 4-9, 11-16, 18-23, 25, 28-30
Reel 1 Nov 2-4, 8, 10-14 External
Nov 2-4, 8, 10-14, 15, 17-19, 20-25, 27-30; External
Dec 1-9, 11-16, 18-23, 25, 28-30 External
  OSzK External
    Nov 1 Reel 2      
Népszava Budapest Oct 30; Nov 1, 3 Reel 2 Oct 23-26, 28-31; Nov 1-4 External Oct 2-31 External ;
Nov 1-30 External
OSzK External
Somogyi néplap Kaposvár Oct 25, 27; Nov 6, 14-15 Reel 1 Oct 2-30 External   OSzK External
Somogyország Kaposvár Nov 17-18, 22, 27;
Dec 5-6, 9, 11-15, 18-24, 28-31
Reel 1 Nov 16-Dec 31 External   OSzK External
Sport Budapest Nov 28-30; Dec 7-9, 11, 13-14, 16-18, 20-21, 24, 27-28, 30-31 Reel 1 Nov 30 Nov 28-30; External
Dec 1-31 External
OSzK External
Szabad Dunántúl Pécs Nov 1-3 Reel 2 Nov 1-4 External   OSzK External
Szabad ifjuság Budapest Oct 29, 30 Reel 2 Oct 23, 27-30 External   OSzK External
Szabad nép Budapest Oct 27-29 Reel 2 Oct 22, 23, 26-29 External
Nov 6-11 External
Oct 1-29 External OSzK External
Szabad Somogy Kaposvár Oct 31; Nov 1, 3 Reel 1 Oct 31, Nov 1-Nov 4 External   OSzK External
Szabad szó Budapest Oct 31 Reel 2 Oct 31 External   OSzK External
Új Magyarország Budapest Oct 31 Reel 2 Oct 31 External
Nov 2 External
Nov 3 External
  OSzK External
Valóság Budapest Nov 2 Reel 2 Nov 1-4 External   OSzK External
Vasi hírlap Szombathely Nov 1 Reel 1   Nov 1-30 External OSzK External
Viharsarok népe Békéscsaba Oct 24 Reel 1 Nov 5-30 External   OSzK External

Order of the titles on Reel 1:

1. Viharsarok népe
2. Esti hírlap
3. Mai nap
4. Sport
5. Népakarat
6. Népszabadság
7. Néplap
8. Győr-Sopron megyei hírlap
9. Szabad Somogy
10. Somogyi néplap
11. Somogyország
12. Északmagyarország
13. Dunántúli napló
14. Szabad Dunántúl
15. Délmagyarország
16. Fejér megyei néplap
17. Fejérmegyei hírlap
18. Igazság
19. Magyar függetlenség
20. Magyar szabadság
21. Győr-Sopron megyei hírlap
22. Kisalföld
23. Hazánk
24. Felhivás a magyar néphez
25. Budai hírlap
26. Egyetemi ifjúság
27. Dunántúli napló [date]
28. Vasi hírlap
29. Föltámadott a tenger 
30. Hétfői hírlap

Also on Reel 1:

Felhivás a magyar néphez. Magyarok, katonák és tisztek! (announcement from the command of the Soviet forces stationed in Hungary, unknown date)

Also on Reel 2:

Flyers/handbills/announcements of the Hungarian Revolution (descriptions are taken from the film)

Nos. 1-7: By youth organizations: University Revolutionary Student Committee, Hungarian Young Workers and Students, University Revolutionary Committee, Hungarian Revolutionary Youth Party (in support of Imre Nagy; demands; Party program; general strike)

No. 8. "Foreign and domestic policy reforms" . . . . "This is the program of the Free Independent Hungarian National Party" (handwritten)

No. 9. The Revolutionary Military Council of the Hungarian People's Army's Leadership (demands)

No. 10. The XIX-th District's National Committee "First Declaration" (Oct. 28)

No. 11. The new national government; a list (Oct. 27)

No. 12. The Revolutionary Military Council of the Kecskemét military air-base (calls for moderation, not to attack the evacuating Soviet troops, gallantry toward Soviet women and the wounded)

No. 13. People of Kecskemét (calls on the "people of Budapest" to end the civil war and support Imre Nagy)

No. 14. Miners' Union of Pécs County (calls on Budapest to continue fighting and promises to give military and economic assistance), (Oct. 31)

Nos. 15-19. Kispest: Kispest Revolutionary Youth's Temporary Committee, Officers of the Municipal Police (demands of neutrality, Soviet evacuation, multiparty system, AVH, etc.; officers deny the presence of AVH men in their units), (Oct 29, 30 and 31)

Nos. 20-21. Orders of the Soviet Military Forces' No. 1 Order, November 6, Signed, (informs that the Soviet forces were invited to "render brotherly help," orders curfew from 7pm to 7am, surrender of weapons, go to work) (Nov. 6 and 19.)

Nos. 22-30. Misc. pamphlets, XVI-th district, Kispest, Csepel and general (after the second Soviet intervention, November 1956)

Note that on Reel 2 there are two entries for Népszava (with different publishers, but consecutively numbered) and Szabad Ifjuság (with two different publishers, and the second marked as Vol. 1, Issue 1).

The following titles link to fuller bibliographic information in the Library of Congress Online Catalog. This list is arranged in alphabetical order by title.

Other primary sources available online

  • Pamphlets, notes, and posters: A special collection of the Hungarian National Library is made up of approximately 2,500 documents that were created during the 1956 revolution and in the very first months immediately after. They are leaflets, posters, and ID cards that are mostly printed, but there are also quite a few made with stencils, typewriters, toy press letters and written by hand. https://mek.oszk.hu/04000/04056/html/ External

Other primary sources available in books

The following titles link to fuller bibliographic information in the Library of Congress Online Catalog. Links to additional digitized versions are included when available. This list is arranged in alphabetical order by title.