János Dobri Collection of the Reformed Congregation of Cluj–Dâmbul Rotund
The János Dobri Collection of the Reformed Congregation of Cluj–Dâmbul Rotund contains materials covering the confessional life and activity of the eponymous pastor, which alongside proofs of his individual stand and sacrifice, in the course of the official and private correspondence with the Romanian authorities and private individuals, and beyond the struggle for survival of the Reformed church, also provides an insight into the details of the fight for minority and human rights in the twentieth century.
Cluj-Napoca Strada Corneliu Coposu 72, Romania 400000
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Name of collection
János Dobri – Collection of the Reformed Congregation from Cluj–Dâmbul Rotund
Provenance and cultural activities
The creation of the János Dobri Collection of the Reformed Congregation of Cluj–Dâmbul Rotund is due to the period of service of the eponymous pastor between 1969 and 1985, as well as to the extension of projects initiated by him. Following Regulation no. 5816/1964 and the attached archive case registry of the Reformed Church District of Cluj, the material of the parish, which has been independent since 1 January 1960, was systematised thematically. The current pastor is responsible for the collection, with the cantor and the social worker as co-workers. This means that the more important tasks are carried out by the pastor: it is he who checks the data introduced by the co-workers and manages the most often used files. These includes File 7, which contains correspondence with the church district centre and the diocese, and File 8, in which correspondence at ward level is located. Important accessories of the congregational collection are the logbook, in which all events are registered, the cash book and the various registers. Here can also be found presbytery minutes and ward meeting minutes. The pastor is the moderator of presbytery meetings and general meetings and in the minutes authenticated by his signature can be found retroactively the procedural points they dealt with. The documentary materials for a given year arrive in the archives after the issue of the annual summary. They can be retrieved using an annual breakdown and based on this, during the dean’s visitation held every three or four years, the pastor reports and explains how he has preserved the documentary materials reporting on the recent history of the parish that have been received in the meantime. Furthermore, the leading pastor of the congregational collection sends annually to the diocese a ministry report, the financial reckoning of the previous year, the budget of the coming year, a population report and the number of families and a construction report.
Description of content
The collection in its content follows Regulation no. 5816/1964 and the attached archive case registry of the Reformed Church District of Cluj, to which the parishes have adapted since 1966. The case registry groups incoming documents in twenty sections and sometimes in more subsections as appropriate. According to this scheme, the first section contains the minutes of presbytery meetings while the second contains the minutes of general meetings. Section three covers the registries in six subsections. In addition to the baptismal, marriage and funeral registers here can be found the register of the confirmed, the converted and those who have moved away, the family book and correspondence on the registers and family book, together with burial certificates. The fourth section is the pastoral desk diary. The fifth is the logbook, which contains an alphabetical index and a post book in its subsections. The sixth section is the golden book. The seventh section (File no. 7) contains correspondence with the church district centre and the diocese – rescripts, circulars and answers to these, together with reports and nominations. In the eighth section (File no. 8) is located correspondence at ward level – with other parishes, local bodies, companies and church members. Files no. 7 and no. 8 are especially important, having been proven to be primary both regarding the activity of János Dobri between 1969 and 1985 and in the reconstruction of the construction history of the Church of Hope. The ninth section contains the electoral roll. The tenth section with its subsections includes the pastoral register book pages – register book pages of the pastor, second pastor or curate, cantor and beadle –, as well as the payment binders of pastors, cantor and beadle. The eleventh section contains the annual inventories of the library and archives as well as of stamps – the culling process, protocols and correspondence related to this. The twelfth section and its subsections consist of the asset inventory book. Here can be found the inventory of precious metal religious objects (of historical value); the protocols taken annually from asset inventories, culling inventories and deficits; documents of house and land properties, estate records, drawings, copies of contracts, and in the case of rented buildings also letting contracts. The thirteenth section and its subsections deal with monuments and artworks – their history, data, source material, technical description, correspondence, restoration budgets, licenses – recording the storage in boxes of photos taken of them together with photos of parish events. The fourteenth section consists of the cash book while the fifteenth and its subsections deal with supporting financial documents, bank and cheque operations, copies of current accounts and receipt books. The sixteenth section contains the group diary, while the seventeenth and eighteenth deal with the separate classification of the budget, accounts and related correspondence, including the account book and classification of payrolls. The nineteenth section and its subsections contains storage area books together with related vouchers, inventories and protocols. The twentieth and last section of the case registry deals with protocols regarding financial controls – appeals, their arrangement, execution of orders.
- grey literature (regular archival documents such as brochures, bulletins, leaflets, reports, intelligence files, records, working papers, meeting minutes): 1000-
- legal and/or financial documentation: 1000-
- manuscripts (ego-documents, diaries, notes, letters, drafts, etc.): 1000-
Geographical scope of recent operation
Date of founding
Place of founding
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Important events in the history of the collection
- visits by appointments
Author(s) of this page
- Jánosi, Csongor
AANP – Arhiva Administraţiei Naţionale a Penitenciarelor (Archives of the National Administration of Penitentiaries): FMP – fond Fişe Matricole Penale (Penal Registration Forms Fonds), data sheets of János Dobri.
ACNSAS – Arhiva Consiliului Național pentru Studierea Arhivelor Securității (Archives of the National Council for the Study of the Securitate Archives): I – Fond Informativ (Informative Fonds): file 211500, volumes 1–7; P – Fond Penal (Penal fonds): file 217, volume 2. and 7; file 104, volumes 1–7.
Berekméri, Árpád-Róbert. 2015. „Lesz még kikelet!”: A marosvásárhelyi magyar királyi 27. székely honvéd könnyű hadosztály a második világháborúban (1940–1945) (“Spring is yet to arrive!”- The Royal Hungarian 27th Szekler Light Division of Tîrgu-Mureș during the Second World War (1940–1945)). Marosvásárhely – Kolozsvár: Lector Kiadó – Erdélyi Múzeum-Egyesület.
Dávid, Gyula, ed. 2006. 1956 Erdélyben – Politikai elítéltek életrajzi adattára 1956–1965 (1956 in Transylvania – The Biographical Inventory of Political Convicts 1956–1965). Kolozsvár: Erdélyi Múzeum-Egyesület – Polis Könyvkiadó,
Jánosi, Csongor. 2017. “A Priest’s Destiny in Transylvania during the Communist Regime. János Dobri (1914-1990).” In Histories (Un)Spoken. Survival and Social-Professional Integration in Political Prisoners' Families in Communist Central and Eastern Europe in the ’50s and ’60s, edited by Cosmin Budeancă and Dalia Báthory, 104 –128. Zürich: LIT Verlag.
Jánosi, Csongor. 2015. “Romanian Church Political Condensations. Bishop Elections in the Reformed Church Districts of Cluj and Oradea in the 1960s.” Religion – Staat – Gesellschaft. Zeitschrift für Glaubensformen und Weltanschauungen, 1–2: 271–306.
Dobri, András, interview by Jánosi, Csongor , August 23, 2018. COURAGE Registry Oral History Collection