The historical archives of Subotica is a cultural institution engaged in activities concerning the protection of archival materials and active records on the municipal territory of Subotica, Bachka Topola and Mali Idjos.

Since it became active initially as an archival area, The Archives transformed into an institution that holds 484 fonds and collections which contains 6 535, 77 shelf meters of archival materials.

So far, the institution developed and prospered and together with the increase of storage and working space, the expertise among the archives personnel has grown. Today it continues to develop following the contemporary archival tendencies, according to the rules and regulations.


Full name of The Archives:

City State Archives of Subotica (since 1952),

The Historical Archives of Subotica (since1964)

Address of the Archives:

24000 Subotica, Trg Slobode 1/III


Stevan Mačković, director



(fax. 524-033),



Establishment of the archives:

The data from the existence of a room in 1751, which represented the archives and had a purpose of preserving the correspondences created by the city government, accounts for the long continuity of the records preservation in our town. That is the year the first City Hall was built which had only four rooms, one of which was the archives. Thanks to that fact, the conditions for preservation of the documents created by the city administration of Subotica have been created, beginning in 1743, when the town of Subotica acquired a municipal independency and civil self-government. Since that period, administration activities can be observed through the records that have been preserved. They continue with their work in the following historical periods of The Habsburg Monarchy, Austro-Hungarian monarchy, Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes and Kingdom of Yugoslavia until the seventies of the 20th century. These archival materials reflect the economical, political and cultural life of people living in this area.

After the first one, two more City Halls were later built in Subotica (in 1828 and in 1910) and the center of the Archives hasn't been moved out of it to this day.

Organized way of preserving archival documents including the very appearance of archival service in Subotice, can be recognized only after the Second World War.

Having realized the significance of written documentation, the government organs established the first rules and regulations after the war, to prevent the destruction of the documents. Individual rules and regulations about the protection of documentation will transform into an organized means of protection by establishing the archival area for the city of Subotica and Bachka Topola district, according to the decision passed by the education department GIO NS APV no. 16800 since 1946. Nine Archival Areas in Vojvodina were formed by this decision: Novi Sad area, Sombor area, Subotica area (including the city of Subotica, Subotica district and Bachka Topola district), Senta area, Velika Kikinda area, This decision also stated that every archival area had to have its own archival supervisor.

In the beginning of 1949, the Archival Area became the Archival Center. In a document from 16 February 1949, issued by the city national board – the executive board, to the archivist of the archival area, it was stated that Archival Areas can not be treated as institutions, until a new decision was passed by the Ministry of Education.

According to the rule of the executive board of the city national board no. 2173/1952, passed according to the rule of Ministry of Education of the National Republic of Serbia, no. 32355, an independant institution was established, under the name of City State Arhcives in Subotica.

The institution is named The Historical Archives of Subotica in 1964, according to the rule of the district assembly no. 05-7101/1964. Rights and obligations of the founder were conducted in that period by the National Board of the District- Subotica District Assembly.

Important dates:

  • in 1946, The Archival Area for the city of Subotica and Backa Topola district was formed;
  • July 16, 1947, The Archival Area supervisor was appointed;
  • in the beginning of 1949, The Archival Area is transformed into The Archival Center;
  • in 1952, an independent institution is established under the name of City State Archives;
  • in 1964, institution is named The Historical Archives of Subotica.

Establishment act:

The rule of the executive board of the City National Board of Subotica no. 2173/1952, passed according to the decision of the Ministry of Education of National Republic of Serbia, no. 32355.

First director:

Emil Vojnović


The most important fonds at the very establishment:

Archival materials of the Magistracy 1743-1918, City Commissioners, City Attorneys, Court Baron of the town Subotica, Bajmok, Aleksandrovo, School supervisory committee.

From 1743, we can monitor the preserved materials created by the city government. After the abolition of Tisa river and Morish river military frontier, military town Subotica was proclaimed privileged market town named Saint Mary by the charter issued by Maria Theresa. The preserved fond from the period of free royal city Subotica (1779-1849 is the Magistracy of the free royal city of Subotica fond. The work of the city administration can be traced through the fond of the Town's Head Office from 1850 to1860, followed by the fond City Council of the Free Royal City Subotica from 1861 to 1918.

Later attained fonds and collection of significant value:

Town's Head Office 1918-1941, City National Board 1945-1954, court fonds, Town Court for the social welfare of orphans – Subotica, Collection of registers of elementary schools, archival material from different associations, societies etc.

Overall quantity of archival materials in the archives:

At the end of 2010, there were 535, 77 shelf meters of archival materials and 484 fonds, 391 of which are arranged and 82 not arranged. There are 6 535, 77 shelf meters of archival materials in the repositories. The institution is conducting monitoring over 833 archives creating agencies on the territory of Subotica, Backa Topola and Mali Idjos.


The level of preservation:


Chronological analysis of the archival materials:

Documents in The Archives are from the period between 1658 and 2006/2008. The oldest original document kept in the archives is the royal charter of Janos Senci form 1658. Around ten documents are preserved from the period of Tisa river military frontier, which the military town Subotica was apart of. After the battle at Senta in 1697, Subotica was incorporated to the Military border.

Documents contained in the fonds and collection range over the period of time from the 17th century to this day and give evidence about life in Subotica and surrounding area. Archives keeps a vast group of records: documentation (charters and diplomas), manuscripts (protocols, registers and other books), documents with finding aids, handwritten legacies for important families and people, charts, maps, plans, printed material, photographs, audio-visual material, magnetic recordings (disks and similar). Records are mostly written in Serbian, Hungarian, German, Latin and Croatian. The material is categorized by the date of creation in fonds and collections: organs of power and organs of government, legal organs, education, science and culture, economy, military, social and political organizations, family and personal fonds and collections.

Based on the categorization of records, archival fonds are grouped into fonds of exceptional, big and general significance. There are 21 fonds of exceptional significant:

  • F. 261. Magistracy of the Royal Market Town Sent Mary (Subotica) (1743-1779),
  • F. 272. Magistracy of Free Royal Town of Subotica (1779-1849),
  • F. 71. War damage district commission - Subotica (1945-1946),
  • F. 385. War damage commission for the district and town - Subotica (1946-1947),
  • F. 69. War damage commission - Subotica (1945-1946),
  • F. 283. Municipality Geodesic Administration - Subotica (1965- ?),
  • F. 377. Land Registry Office – Subotica (1945-1965),
  • F. 166. Local Command - Subotica (1944-1945),
  • F. 284. Military station – Pačir (1944-1945),
  • F. 348. Military station - Stara Moravica (1944-1945),
  • F. 23. Royal District Court - Subotica (1871-1918),
  • F. 20. District Court (Sudbeni sud) - Subotica (1861-1871),
  • F. 45. District Court- Subotica (1919-1941),
  • F. 086. District Court- Subotica (1945-?),
  • F. 419. County Commercial Court - Subotica (1945-?),
  • F. 60. Town Head Offices of the Free Royal City Subotica (1941-1944),
  • F. 1 Vojnić family from Bajša (1644-1946),
  • F. 179. Collection of Ištvan Ivanji (1724-1783),
  • F. 271. Collection “Secret Archives” of the town Subotica (1743-1904),
  • F. 275. Collection of Projects (1845-1989),
  • F. 216. Collection of Elisabeth Lifka (1882-1981).

The majority of these fonds are used in research the most.

Repository space:2805,9 m²

  1. The center (offices and repository space on 3rd and 4th floor in the City Hall) - 1371.71 m²
  3. Repository in Subotica (part of the basement in the building of the Court), Sencanski put 1 street - 227.50 m²
  5. Repository in Subotica (part of the object, 1st, 2nd and 3rd floor), Matije Gupca street – 506,37.98 m²
  7. Repository in Backa Topola, (part of the ground floor storage space), Bajsanski put 21 street - 144 m²
  9. 3 bomb shelters in Subotica - 484,71 m²


Short history of the Archives repositories:

At the end on 1948, The City Museum made one of its rooms available to The Archival Area, and in 1949, two more rooms in Engelsova Street in Subotica. At the end of 1950, the archival Center has been given eleven rooms at the third floor of the Head National Board's building (which was the official name of the place at that time) which is the City Hall today, where The Archives is still located. The Archives was given additional space for record keeping, in the basement of the court building in 1982, in Bachka Topola in 1988, 3 floors in an object in the Matije Gupca street in 2005 and 3 bomb shelters in 2008.

History of the current Archives' building: The building in which the center of The Archives is currently located was built in 1908-1912, on  approximately the same spot as the former two. The building was built according to the designs by two architects from Budapest, Marcel Komor and Deze Jakab. The ground floor was accommodated by the catering and trade services, the second and the third floor were occupied by the administrative services, like today. Part of the third floor, formerly utilized by the police and remand prison, is used for repository space and offices of The Historical Archives.

The City Hall was built in the Hungarian secession style and the main entrance is the most impressive, together with a complex of formal rooms on the first floor. The most interesting part of the City Hall is the tower, 76 m high, resembling the tower of the government palace Târgu Mures in Romania, which was designed by the same architects. The high tower has over time become the trademark of the city and can be seen on various publications about Subotica. The tower clock can be seen from every part of the city.

At some point, administration used to be located at a building known as the new city hall. However, the lack of funds, the impressive object and a central place of location were the factors that returned the administrative service into the building which is a symbol of the city for half the century now.


Administrative division:

  • Department for administration and general issues (Secretary and accountant department)
  • Preservation service department
  • Archival arrangement and description department
  • Documentation and information department (Reading room, repository department and archival library)


Protection of the records:

– 963 registered record making agencies and 515 fonds in the archives (7300 m)


Activities with users:

– in 2010, the number of applications submitted in The Archives for personal and legal purposes was 821 and the number of researchers was 141, 120 of which local and 21 foreign researchers (1120m books were issued for use, 190 archival boxes, 1001 subjects, 44 maps, 42 folios) and 34 users of library materials.


Head executive board issued a decision on November 2, 1946, to all museums, archives and libraries in Vojvodina, about personnel employed in these institutions. It is assessed that one director and archivists and archival assistants should be employed depending on the amount of archival materials and additional activities and tasks required. The professional staff can be employed indefinitely, part-time or on voluntary basis.

The first archivist in The Archives located in that period in the city library, was Blasko Vojnic. On July 16, 1947, he was appointed the first archival supervisor for the Archival Area of Subotica, including  the town of Subotica, district Subotica and district Backa Topola.

In the annual report for the year 1948, Mihalj Prokes was a volunteering supervisor from January 1 to July 11. After him Ivan Rudic was appointed Archival Area archivist and supervisor. As a supervisor, he took part in archival meetings and courses in Belgrade and Dubrovnik.

The number of employees in The Archives will begin to gradually rise by the appointment of Emil Vojnovic as a supervisor, on November 28, 1951. Thanks to these archivists and archival assistants that worked in The Archives, the archival material has become available for scientific and other purposes.

There are 20 employees in the archives today.


Former directors of the archives:

  • Blasko Vojnic (supervisor of the city library, in charge of organizing archival service, 1947)
  • Mihalj Prokes (1947)
  • Ivan Rudic (1949-1951)
  • Emil Vojnovic (1951-1973)
  • Andrija Horovic (1973-1974)
  • Jozef Palinkas (1974-1975)
  • Andrija Horovic (1976)
  • Smilja Prijic (1976-1977)
  • Milan Dubajic (1977-1993)
  • Zoran Veljanovic (1993-2001)
  • Stevan Mackovic (2001- )

Prominent archivists:

  • Dr Emil Vojnovic
  • Gaspar Ulmer
  • mr Janos Dobos
  • Laslo Madjar