Selected Special Collections
Early Bulgarian Imprint Collection
Bulgarian-language publications, nineteenth century
The early Bulgarian Imprint Collection, purchased by the Library of Congress in 1949 and housed in the Rare Book and Special Collections Division, contains copies of some of the earliest books printed in the modern Bulgarian language. Because printing presses were prohibited within Bulgaria by the Turks before the country achieved national autonomy in 1878, these books were printed chiefly in Constantinople, Vienna, Belgrade, Bucharest, and Budapest. The approximately six hundred "pre-liberation" books in the collection include copies of one hundred fifty religious books, fifty grammars and readers, thirty-five histories, thirty patriotic works, thirty-three translations, and twenty calendars. Approximately 40 percent of the Bulgarian-language publications produced between 1806 and 1877 are represented. Of particular note is the 1806 edition of Krakow, the collection of ninety-six sermons prepared by Bishop Sofroniǐ of Vrasta, which was the first book to be published in modern Bulgarian. Two annotated copies of the standard bibliography Opis na starite pechatani bǔlgarski knigi by Valeriǐ Pgorelov serves as the finding aid to the Collection.
Also see digital collections of Early Bulgarian Collections: Slavic Books