The Diocese of Győr was founded by Saint Stephen of Hungary, probably before 1009. Its territory included the entire western part of Transdanubia; that is the entire territory of Győr, Sopron and Vas Counties; Moson County with the exception of Szigetköz; a part of Zala Country along the river Marcal; part of Veszprém County north of the Bakony Mountains and the Transdanubian part of Komárom County. In all probability, in addition to the Cathedral Chapter of Győr, the Collegiate Chapter of Vasvár existed from the 11th century; its provosts were the county’s archdeacons. The estates of the episcopate lay in the neighbourhood of Győr but a few villages from Sopron County and market-town Szombathely from Vas County also belonged there.
In 1777 Queen Maria Theresa attached the part of the diocese, which was in Vas County, to the newly created Diocese of Szombathely and the neighbourhood of Pápa to the Veszprém Diocese. Following the Trianon Peace Treaty the size of the diocese was considerably reduced again. The 99 parishes that were attached to Austria (together with the 57 parishes of the Szombathely Diocese) were governed by the Archbishop of Vienna as Apostolic Administrator; later, from 1960 they belonged to the newly created Eisenstadt (Kismarton) Diocese. The greater part of Szigetköz has been a part of the Győr Diocese since 1993; earlier it constituted a part of the Esztergom Archdiocese.
The Cathedral Chapter of Győr became a place of authentication (locus credibilis) from the beginning of the 13th century; its first known charter is from 1210. The repository of the charters, the “chamber” was mentioned for the first time in 1226. When Győr was occupied by the Ottomans, the archives of both the Cardinal Chapter and the Episcopate were secured in Sopron. When in 1601 the archives were returned to Győr, the charters of the episcopate were placed in the Archives of the Cardinal Chapter, therefore the majority of the medieval documents of the diocese can be found in the Archives of the Capital Chapter up to now.
The church government document series in the Episcopal Archives can be considered continuous from the bishopric of Ágost Keresztély (1696–1725). In 1809, during the French occupation of Győr, a fire broke out in the Bishop’s Castle and the archives were saved by throwing the dossiers out of the window. During this time a lot of dossiers came undone, a lot of documents and reference books were lost. The documents of the Episcopal Office have been registered since 1856.
In the Archives of the Episcopate and the Cathedral Chapter the classification of the documents was continuous from the second half of the 18th century. E.g. in 1779 Kristóf Schogg, Provost of Pápoc classified the documents of his provostship. The episcopal archives were classified under Bishop János Sztankovics (1838–1848): the documents were arranged in chronological order within the greater subject matters. Between 1874 and 1889 Canon Ferenc Ebenhöch reclassified the archives of the Cathedral Chapter; he made catalogues and indexes and started the „Cimeliotheca et Theca”series. The “school archives” of the Episcopate were classified in 1904/1905. The economic archives were ruined at the beginning of the 1900s, when a fire broke out in the building of the audit office, so this part of the archives is mainly from the 20th century (with the exception of the documents concerning the manorial court and the predialists’ seat of Vecse). The last significant contribution to the classification of the archives is thanks to archivist József Buzás, who worked in the 1950s;
after that there was no real archival work for almost half a century. The greater part of the archival holdings was kept in the tower rooms of the Bishop’s Castle (on the 3rd and 4th floors) and the archives of the Cathedral Chapter were kept in the Cathedral, on the first floor, next to the tower. The research conditions were rather unfavourable here but from the viewpoint of conservation the situation was quite suitable. The country-wide (place of authentication) archives were nationalized and kept in Győr in the Public (County) Archives from 1974.
In its present form, the Archives of the Diocese of Győr was established in 2000 and moved to a converted wing of the Bishop’s Castle. This wing of building is modern in every respect, easily accessible, and it allows the conservation. Its three storage rooms could accommodate one and a half times the amount of the documents kept here (approximately 1100 linear metres at present). The archives were established by the Diocese of Győr with the fusion of the archives of the Episcopate and the Cathedral Chapter of Győr and the archives of the Collegiate Chapter of Sopron. The former one in itself collected a few sets of documents: the archives of the Győr Episcopate, the private archives of the Cathedral Chapter of Győr, the documents of the Provostry of Pápoc and the documents of the Saint Adalbert Provostry of Győrhegy. In October 2000 the national (so-called place of authentication) archives of the Cathedral Chapter were added, which were taken over from the Győr-Moson-Sopron County Győr Archives. The collective archives are expanding with deposits, inheritances and the archival holdings of the diocese and its schools and parishes. As a result of the nationally unique document delivery programme, which was started in 2005, the number of those parishes, whose material can be researched in the archives, rose above 110. Between the reorganization of the archives and 2013, two-thirds of the archival holdings were classified, boxed and supplied with computerized archival aids by the archivists. The researchers increasingly discover the values to be found in the archives of the diocese, as it is shown by the continuous increase of the research cases since 2000. In the early 2010s 600-700 visits were registered yearly.
The staff of the collection have close ties with the two municipal archives, the Győr-Moson-Sopron County Győr Archives and the City Archives of Győr. A spectacular example of it the Győr Archives Days, for many years organized jointly by the three archives.
Address: 9021 Győr, Káptalandomb 5/a.