The predecessor of Pécs, the Roman Sopianae had a significant Christian minority in its golden age in the 4th century but this population did not live to see the Hungarian conquest. The Diocese of Pécs was established by Saint Stephen of Hungary. According to its incomplete 1009 foundation charter its territory covered Tolna, Baranya, Pozsega and Valkó Counties. After the First World War the southern part of the diocese was occupied by Serbian troops and as a result of the Trianon Peace Treaty, a part of the episcopate south of the Danube was ceded to Yugoslavia and later it was attached to the Episcopate of Diakovo. As a consequence of the changed borders the Erzsébet University of Pozsony moved to Pécs. The episcopate transferred a few buildings to the university and as a perpetual deposit, the Klimó Episcopal Library as well.
The archival material of the bishops from the period after the Turkish occupation is continuous only from the early 18th century, or rather from the period of Zsigmond Berényi (1738–1748). Under György Klimó (1751–1777) the Episcopal Archives had a separate room in the Bishop’s Palace in Pécs. Under Bishop Ignác Szepessy (1828–1838) the archives were located on the second floor of the old tower, which had been converted into an observatory by Klimó. The documents of the Vicar and the Holy See were kept here, too; these were separated from the episcopal records and arranged in chronological order. From the late 19th century the first and later the third floor of the tower were used by the archives. However, a lot of important documents are missing from the archives, mainly owing to the researches of József Brüsztle, Diocesan priest (1817–1896). In the second half of the 19th century he removed a lot of records from their original place. After his death the documents were not returned to the archives and later these records were burnt. In the years following the Second World War the remaining archival material of the Diocesan School Inspectorate and the bishop’s estate was also located in the episcopal archives.
Although the place of authentication (locus credibilis) archives of the Cathedral Chapter were kept in a separate camera even at the time of the Mongol Invasion, neither that, nor the medieval private archives of the Chapter survived. The majority of the records were lost in 1543 while trying to escape from the Ottoman conquerors. At the end of the 19th century archivist József Koller could track down a few records and retrieve some of them. Koller prepared the register and index of the archives of the Chapter, starting with the 18th century. This useful archival aid was continued by Pál Aigl from 1830 and by canons József Rézbányai and István Szentkirályi in the 20th century. Ede Petrovich (1898–1987), chief archivist must be mentioned: he carried out serious cataloguing and research work in both archives. The archival aids prepared by him are essential for finding your way in the archival material.
Address: 7624 Pécs, Szent István tér 23.
Postal address: 7601 Pécs, Pf. 113.