The periodical, which was initially meant as a historical educational periodical but ended up as a historical political periodical, was first published in 1979, in the same year as the economic weekly HVG with support of the political powers in favour of reforms. The founding editor of the periodical has been Ferenc Glatz. 
The periodical set the aim of shedding light on the historical roots of issues engaging domestic and foreign public thinking. (Thus, it has come into conflict with the political apparatus of the Soviet regime for touching upon several taboo topics. It has also got involved in debates of the powers in favour of reforms and the dogmatic camp, often through covering these debates.) The periodical regularly deals with national conflicts in Central Eastern Europe, the minority issue, the historical roots of the current position of Hungarians living beyond the borders of Hungary, the peace treaty of Trianon, the conditions prevailing at the time of the disintegration of the Historical Hungary, the role of not only left-wing – and neglected - movements but also civic democratic trends, the concealed details of the history of unlawful acts, persecutions on ethnic and racial grounds and it also revised the historical theses crammed about Hungary between the two World Wars. The periodical also initiated the re-evaluation of the social and cultural role of the church in the 1980s. The critical observation and analysis of the tradition of ethnic and social exclusion (i.e. the Holocaust, the resettlement of Germans (1987), social exclusions – the persecution of “kulaks”, the former middle classes and labour aristocrats.
He aimed to promote the thematic revival of the „new historiography” by putting either completely new or neglected topics on the agenda, including:
  • The history of natural environment and biohistory regarding man as part of nature (1987). (Parallel with the major ecologic discussions evolving at that time in the world, which have been less known in Hungary.)
  • The history of everyday life is among its programmes from the very beginning, i.e. the depiction of the daily life of human society (1979), the rehabilitation of the individual’s role and that of erudition and individual talent.
  • In his view the new historiography makes use of both image and oral remains and undertakes making historical films and radio plays. The periodical História therefore regularly pays attention to films of historical content and takes advantage of imaging depiction. (Using images not merely for illustration but for communicating information.)
  • It set as one of its main aims to present the current trends of the world’s historiography. As the editor-in-chief was an active role-player of the international historian life, lecturer of World Congresses of historians, the latest thematic – methodological trends of international historiography were also published in the periodical (e.g. political systems; the role of wars and armament; new topics regarding social history; the changing role of women, children and elderly people; the image we form of other people etc.)
  • In its way of presenting history it aimed to restore the credit of factuality in contrast with the that time fashionable “interpretations”. Therefore it regularly published chronologies (as a chronologic background material attached to certain articles) and source fragments.
  • Universal history and international comparisons are given special emphasis not only in thematic terms but also in presenting the „microhistorical” series of events.
The periodical História proclaimed entertaining history. Trying to show the wholeness of life, apart from presenting political and armed conflicts, it devoted much space to telling interesting or characteristic biographies. Jokes and anecdotes are also a recurring topic.
The periodical, which is edited in a relatively tense manner, regularly conveys a thematic block, which is related to the given subject matter introduced by the editorial.
Initially the periodical was published 4 times a year (1979–1981), later the number of yearly issues grew to 6 (1982–1991), and from 1992 10 issues are published each year. Between 1979 and 1990 the periodical was sold in 40-60000 copies, since 1990 in 20 000 copies. Since 2003 it is published in colourful layout.
The editorial board of the periodical included Károly Vörös († 1996), Ferenc Szakály († 1999) and Pál Engel († 2001) followed by „new” colleagues (Zoltán Szász, Attila Zsoldos, Pál Fodor) and many of the founders are still working here (István Kertész, Péter Sipos, Ilona Stemler). The editor-in-chief has performed the daily work of editing the periodical with a varying team of his former students (János Pótó, Zsuzsanna Demeter, Kornélia Burucs, Éva Kovács, Judit Stefany, Tibor Dömötörfi, Ágnes Párizs, Emese Oprán).
Editorials of the periodical História
Homepage of História