Posters and Small Prints

The number of documents collected, processed and archived by the Posters and Small Prints Archive of the Budapest Collection since 1915 has exceeded 400.000 items. The 330.000 small prints and the more than 80.000 posters - dated from the 18th century to the present day - preserves information about the everyday life of more than two centuries. The collection is related to Pest-Buda, Budapest.
Until 1958, the processing of small prints was based on the Decimal Classification and then the Universal Decimal Classification (professional index), adapted to the specifics of the document type. Within the specialization, the small prints were placed in envelopes and then in boxes in chronological order. Some of the small prints before 1958 have a separate title description, and this well-usable card catalog is still a great help to librarians and readers alike.

In the drawers lined up in the reading room of the Budapest Collection, a specialised and an alphabetical catalog also allows you to search. The documents of outstanding historical events form a separate, independent unit, which can be find under the heading "Revolutionary periods" for readers and researchers interested in the topic.
  • 1848-1849 Revolution and War of Independence
  • World War I.
  • Őszirózsás forradalom
  • Tanácsköztársaság
  • World War II.
  • 1956
In 1958, the specialization based on the Universal Decimal Classification was replaced by eight major divisions, within further subdivisions.
I. General (this includes politics, tourism; urban development)
II. Documentation of state administration (materials of ministries, local governments, parties)
III. Art life (theater, classical and light music, museums, cinemas)
IV. Culture, sports (cultural institutions, dissemination of knowledge, sports life)
V. Education, science, churches
VI. Catering, small industry, retail
VII. Industry, commerce, communications, banking, insurance
VIII. Private life, special forms of public life (business cards, calendars, obituary)

The professional and alphabetical index of the posters - similarly to the small prints - was based on Decimal Classification, but from 1985 until now they are placed in the order of inclusion in the stock. From each poster a 9x12 cm photo was taken, which has the most important data on the back:
  • specialty mark in the upper left corner
  • poster location number
  • size
  • year of manufacture
  • the publisher's name
  • the name of the creator (in the case of a graphic poster)
There are two photos of each poster in the catalog boxes in the reading room of the Budapest Collection. One is in place according to the specialty, so this is the specialty catalog. The other photo was placed in the chronological catalog, in which, within a given year, photographs  were placed in the ascending order of the number of specializations, with the date on the back. Depending on whether it is a graphic or text poster, the former has the two photos in the graphic/specialty and graphic/chronological boxes. Photos of text posters can be searched in the text/special and text/chronological boxes, respectively. Similar to small prints, where the documents of the "Revolutionary Periods" were highlighted and placed separately, the photographs of the posters of the highlighted historical events can be found in separate catalog drawers separately from the others.

The library's collection of World War I posters is available on the Hungaricana website under the "Book and Document Library". Scanned images of thousands of more posters can be viewed on the computers in our reading room. This is a mixed material which contains a large number of posters related to public life and cultural, sports, tourism and commercial propaganda posters from the first half of the 19th century to the 1980s. The Poster Archive also has the scanned versions of about 10.000 posters that are particularly important or interesting in terms of content, or artistically.

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