The National Library of Bulgaria – Wisdom, Charm and Grace

Written by Helen Chan

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The St. St. Cyril and Methodius National Library of Bulgaria was founded in 1878.  It came to be the national library of Bulgaria in 1881.  Inaugurated in 1953 after Allied bombing during World War II, the national Library became the landmark of the country.  It is the largest public library and the oldest cultural institution after the liberation of Bulgaria. Enjoy your walk to the great library.  You can appreciate the beauty of the library building and magnificent skyline.

The library is named after the two brothers, Cyril and Methodius, who created the Cyrillic alphabet, the basis of all Slavic scripts. The Glagolitic script is the oldest known Slavic alphabet.

The national library has a collection of over 7 million library units catering for diverse interests of users from different age groups. The reference books collection of the library is one of the richest in Bulgaria. The amount of foreign books collection is 767 239 volumes, including those in Russian, French, German, Serbian, Romanian and Greek.

Remarkable collections include the Collection of Oriental Archives and Newer Turkish Archives, Rare Books and Valuables, Old Print Books from the Orient, and Bulgarian Historical Archive.

Distinctive creations of the past and present shimmer from every angle like precious stones.

The digitization of valuable materials from the national library started in 2006.  A total of about 400,000 files were scanned and included in the Digital Library. A touch screen monitor displays archives and engages users with the inspiring digital content.  The national library encompasses the largest collection of Slavonic manuscripts in Bulgaria.  There are over 1.500 manuscripts and fragments dated from the 11th to the 19th centuries.

Fabulous library décor at different corners of the spectacular library in addition to the light, furniture, facilities and rich book collection, all compose the unique reader experiences of almost another world.

The conservation lab is responsible for the care of collections.  The national library plays an important role in the preservation of literary heritage. The Conservator is filling up the holes of the historical document.

The library treasure, Card Catalog, reminds us Cutter, Dewey and AACR2.  The rows of card catalogs shed light on the large holdings of the national library.

The National Library of Bulgaria is located at  88, Vasil Levski Blvd., 1504 Center, Sofia.

Sofia is celebrating the 140th anniversary of becoming the capital of Bulgaria in 2019.


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