31st January 2024

Books Acquired Through Donations at the National Library of Bulgaria

Throughout 2023, “St. Cyril and Methodius” National Library of Bulgaria paid tribute to the donors who enriched the institution with valuable books and documents over the past five years (2018-2022). The new acquisitions, which complimented the collections of the departments “Bulgarian Historical Archive,” “Oriental Collections,” “Manuscripts and Old and Rare Printed Books,” “Maps and Graphics,” and the main fund of the National Library, were presented in a special display case every month from January to December.

Faced with the challenging task of selecting donors and exhibits for our series, we were guided by the idea of presenting documents of different types, languages, and purposes that complement a large part of the Library’s special collections. The purpose was to showcase the diversity and richness of the act of donation. Among the individuals and organizations who made this gesture, we can mention: The Vera Gancheva Foundation, New Bulgarian University, Athanase Vantchev de Thracy, Prof. Klaus Roth, Mrs. Rayna Bozhkova, Prof. Alexander Chirkov, Levon Hampartzoumian, the Embassy of Brazil in the Republic of Bulgaria, and others. It is an honour to present the diversity of our donors – institutions and organizations covering the spectrum of our social, economic, and cultural life, more or less known personalities who undertook this step with the awareness that they are preserving the nation’s memory. On the other hand, the act of donation places them and all others, known and unknown, not included in the current honorary exhibition, equally high in the eyes of society.

Philanthropy is an act of benevolence inherent in noble spirits. An unknown thinker has formulated a definition of goodness embraced by many followers and gaining popularity today – “Goodness is… the Wisdom of the Soul and the Duty of the Heart”. Since its establishment, the National Library of Bulgaria has relied mainly on the philanthropic will of individuals and organizations for the formation and initial enrichment of its funds. The earliest and most significant manuscripts and printed monuments were acquired precisely through these channels. The Bulgarian and global community joined forces to create the country’s first cultural institution. From the pages of post-liberation and contemporary editions, readers gain invaluable information and aesthetic enjoyment. Some of the documents complement personal funds in the Bulgarian Historical Archive, while others become part of existing collections.

From 2018 to 2022, 16,438 volumes of donations from 1,214 donors were received at “St. Cyril and Methodius” National Library through international book exchange, public and university libraries, reading rooms, and the Bulgarian community abroad. The National Library of Bulgaria expresses gratitude for the expressed will and cooperation of all our donors who sustain the full-bodied organism of the Library. Their names will be listed among the first, having created and written the history of our national literary treasury, shining with the renaissance flame of the Bulgarian spirit and cultural traditions.


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