Bursary Report


Safe Storage and Preservation: The National Library of Bulgaria


A joint initiative between national libraries of Bulgaria and Macedonia on ‘Library’s core function: Safe Storage and Preservation of the Nation’s Cumulative Knowledge and Written Heritage’ was held in Macedonia and consisted of a workshop and exhibition opening, 8 – 10 November, 2017. The exhibition displayed some of the most prominent holdings of the National Library of Bulgaria. A team of 10 people from the Bulgarian National library travelled for the visit accompanied by two guests from the Academy of Sciences Library and from the University of Library Studies and Information Technologies.

The main workshop included 9 presenters from both libraries. The programme also featured the input of two special guest speakers: from the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences and the University of Library Studies and Information Technologies in Sofia. The presentations were on the following topics:

  • Digitization – basic steps and processes adopted, issues encountered
  • Restoration methods
  • Camera “Anoxia” method for disinfecting books
  • Usage of essential oils as fungicides in cultural heritage conservation
  • General overview of collections held at the two libraries

Keynote speakers included:

  • Krasimira Aleksandrova, Assoc. Prof., Director of National Library of Bulgaria;
  • Georgy Bobev, Manager of Digital Library and Rumiana Petrova, Manager  of Information Services Division at National Library of Bulgaria;
  • Natalia Vladinova  and Ana Evstatieva, Conservation/ Restoration Specialists at the Restoration center of the Bulgarian National Library;
  • Silvia Naydenova, Director of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences Central Library;
  • Kristina Dencheva, Prof., Deputy Dean at the University of Library Studies and Information Technologies;
  • Zoritsa Jakovlevska-Spirovska, Head of sector Library holdings, services and protection at the National Library of Macedonia;
  • Jacqueline Galevska, Head of Virtual Library Sector at National Library of Macedonia;
  • Eleni Novakovska, Head of Special collections at National Library of Macedonia;
  • Iskra Dimova, Person in charge for Fine Arts Collection at National Library of Macedonia.

The second aspect of the program was the opening of the travelling exhibition titled, “Books, directions, audiences”. This consisted of 16 posters displaying some of the greatest treasures held at the National library of Bulgaria. The exhibit presented some of the most prominent items from the collections of: Manuscripts and Early Printed Books Division, Oriental Collections, Bulgarian Historical Archives. The exposition comprised a selection of centuries-old Bulgarian religious manuscripts, codices and early printed books, illuminated Ottoman manuscripts, books and records, Bulgarian revival period papers, photographs and archives. The items displayed ranged from 10th to 20th century. The exhibition was open to visitors and the general public. A guided tour was led by experts from the departments of Manuscripts and Early Printed Books and Oriental Collections giving insight on the stories behind the collection items displayed, the life, culture, society and identity of the time.

Highly encouraging and extremely positive comments were received from the delegates who attended. Creating a common space for two-way sharing of experiences and ideas of geographically dispersed teams was a major benefit of the bursary programme.  The feedback received, highlighted how useful this opportunity for knowledge transfer was as it motivated staff and gave them a broader perspective. It was also a great way to stay connected and create a network of professionals pursuing a common goal irrespective of geographical locations.

This CENL bursary project is exceptionally helpful and provides a very good opportunity to share knowledge with colleagues from the same unit on the spot. ” Natalia Vladinova, Restoration/ Conservation Expert at National Library of Bulgaria.

The bursary programme of CENL is most necessary, useful and giving the opportunity to exchange experience, ideas and professional skills between partners.” Boyana Mincheva, Chief Archivist at the Division of , Manuscripts and Early Printed Books at National Library of Bulgaria.