On 29th of August 1969 the BAS Governing Body (the Praesidium) decided for establishing the Section Sources on Bulgarian History at the Institute for History. In its decision the following objectives have been assigned to the Section: “to seek, work out and prepare for publication sources pertaining to Bulgarian People’s history, to deal with theoretical problems of historic archaeography“. In the same year 1969 to the Section has been also attached a photo laboratory equipped with state-of-the-art appliances. Due to financial problems it has been subsequently transferred to the Centre for Scientific Information with the BAS, from where it also kept assisting the Institute’s Section. Another change happened after the integrated centres for science and staff training were established, as well as after the programming and goal-driven principles of research management within BAS were introduced into practice. By decision of the BAS Praesidium as of 25th of July 1973 a special Discussion-and-research group on Sources at the Institute was made up. Its first head was the senior research associate Vladislav Topalov who briefly afterwards was replaced by the senior research associate Strahil Gichev (1973–1987), the latter being succeeded as late as 1992 by the senior research associate Anka Raykova.
From the end of 1960s a fruitful period of seeking and collecting sources on Bulgarian history in the foreign archives was inaugurated. The source stock grew up swiftly – chiefly regarding the shape of documentary microfilms, kept in the archives of Great Britain, Austria, Germany (GDR and FRG alike), the USSR, France, the USA Hungary, Romania and other countries. As a result of that active collecting work up to the 1970s more than 1.000.000 images of archive documents have been received. The team of specialists working under the methodical and regulatory control of Strahil Gichev endeavoured their annotating. Up to year 1989 were made annotations of more than 700.000 pages. After staff curtailments conducted during 1990–1991 that process still remains almost frozen.
Simultaneously with annotation a card index was worked out in compliance with areal and chronological principles. A reading room, equipped with necessary appliances opened within the archive depository of the Institute. For providing for needs emerged from the multivolume History of Bulgaria to be printed, a collection of numerous photo slides bearing different illustration material was settled.
As of beginning of 2017 documentary stock is divided into 18 collections depending on the countries where the original materials were kept in. Most collections correspond to official letter exchange with the foreign ministries of the respective nations. Sources cover mainly the period of Modern and Contemporary history.
- Memories − 1362 sheets of memories and other documents belonged to Bulgarian statesmen and public figures;
- Netherlands − 10000 images from the General Royal Archive in Hague;
- Austria − 96000 images from the Imperial and State archive in Vienna;
- England – more than 250000 images, mostly originating from the Foreign Office’s archive in London, Part one: unit # 1 – # 305 and Part two: unit # 494 – unit # 718;
- German Democratic Republic – more than 57000 images originating from the German Central Archive;
- Federal Republic of Germany – more than 53000 images, mostly from the Political archive with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Bonn;
- Poland – over 20000 images from the archives at Warsaw, Cracow and Wrocław;
- Romania – more than 37000 images from the State archive at Bucharest;
- The USSR – more than 22000 images from archives at Moscow, Leningrad and Kiev;
- Turkey − 500 images;
- Hungary – more than 89000 images from the Archive with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at Budapest;
- France – more than 30000 images from the Diplomatic archive of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Paris;
- Czechia – more than 10000 images, mostly from the Archive of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Prague;
- Yugoslavia – more than 11000 images, mostly from the archives in Dubrovnik and Zagreb;
- Bulgaria − 15 microfilms with separate copies of documents and books dated from the National Awakening Period;
- Italy – more than 6000 images from the Historic archive at Rome;
- Greece − 1500 images;
- The USA – more than 126000 images, mostly from the National archive in Washington, as well as over 122000 images, given by the Archive with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Germany.
Readership is served under General Rules and Conditions valid for the whole academic library network. External readers are entitled to use anything on place. The respective services are paid in the Accountancy of the Institute on a fixed tariff.
Researcher in the Scientific archive: specialist Greta Dimitrova
mobile +359 88 342 54 62, e-mail: greta90(at)gbg(dot)bg
Working hours: Monday, Thursday and Friday 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Tuesday and Wednesday 9:00 a.m. – 5 p.m.