The Order of Pious Schools was founded by a Spanish priest, Saint Joseph Calasanz (1556-1648), with the intention of maintaining free tuition and religious schools. The first Hungarian house and school of the Order was established in 1666 in Privigye (but previously, from 1642 the Piarists were present in Podolin, Szepes County, which was pawned to Poland). Before 1692 the rapidly expanding Hungarian houses were subject to the Polish Province, than after a short transition period, they belonged to the Province of Germany (Provincia Germaniae) as a vice-province and finally in 1721 the independent Hungarian Province was formed. At the end of the 1770s already 27 Piarist schools were in Hungary. Due to the reforms of Joseph II, the Hungarian Piarists had to break apart from the centre of the Order in Rome. The unity was restored in 1904. Immediately before Trianon there were 24 Piarist houses and schools in Hungary but only 10 of them remained in Hungarian territory. Nine of them was ceded to Czechoslovakia, four of them to Romania (in the 1920s these were organized into an independent province) and the grammar school of Nagybecskere came under Yugoslavian control. The majority of these schools were nationalized. Between 1948 and 1950 the Communist dictatorships abolished the Romanian and Slovakian Piarist houses and schools but according to the 1950 Hungarian agreement, the Order was allowed to keep two schools (in Budapest and Kecskemét). After the collapse of the dictatorship the Piarists reopened the majority of their old schools and opened new institutions (vocational school, college) as well.
The archives of the Province were established in 1692 by Lukács Mösch (a S. Edmundo), commissarius generalis, who was appointed to head the Hungarian Piarist houses at the time. Although three years later the Hungarian Piarists lost their independence, their Vice-Provincials, who were subject to the Province of Germany (Provincia Germaniae), retained their independent management of the records and their own archives throughout these years; then in 1721 the Hungarian Province was established with full rights. From the beginning the seat of the Provincials was in Privigye and the archives were kept there. In the first half of the 18th century the Provincials spent much time in Nyitra and in 1757 Provincial János Cörver moved his seat and the archives to Pest. Here the records were classified at first by assistant Keresztély Kácsor in 1784 and later, in 1809 by Márk Dományi, Ex-Provincial and Alajos Hegedűs, secretary to the Provincial. The more important records were divided into 60 drawers (forulus) but the records collected in the Provincial Office in the 19th century were handled separately again. At first these were periodically registered, then from the second half of the century the registration is continuous. At the beginning of the 20th century the two collections were called “Archivum”, respectively “Provincial Archives”.
The “Archivum” was classified anew between 1920 and 1922, after the new Piarist House had been built in Budapest. Archivist Rezső Jászai retained the old units (foruli) of the archives but he completed them with other records, which had been piled up in the “Archivum”. From the late 19th century the old valuable records of many Piarist Houses and schools were collected in the archives of the Province (among others records from Podolin, Privigye and Breznóbánya). In addition to it, the manuscripts left behind by the deceased Piarists were also collected in the Provincials Archives. In 1953, when the Piarists had to leave their House in Váci Street to move to Joseph Town, the archives remained in the old building (because there was not enough room for the cabinets in the Piarist House on Mikszáth Kálmán Square); moreover, the material of the “Provincial Archives” was placed next to them. Between December 1961 and February 1962 the complete material was transferred to the rooms above the sacristy of the St. Stephen's Basilica. Later there were leaks in the room and the cabinets were ruined, so in 1978 the archives were transferred to the building of the Piarist Secondary School on Mikszáth Kálmán Square and placed on the ground floor, in a room opening onto the yard. Meantime, in 1974 László Csányi prepared new registers of the archival material.
Following much preparation, in June 2011 the archives were returned to the old Piarist House in Váci Street, where the storeroom was placed in the cellar; the study and the research room, which is shared with the library, were moved to the first floor. After the move the earlier dispersedly preserved records were placed in fonds according to provenance and serial numbers.
Address: 1052 Budapest, Piarista köz 1.