Book History Hall

The Book history hall and its adjacent Classroom in the National Library St. St. Cyril and Methodius are already gaining popularity among readers and guests of the oldest cultural institution in Bulgaria. The renovated spaces opened at the end of 2018 for the Library’s140th birthday and welcomed their first visitors in the first weeks of 2019.Theopeningattracted media attention which resulted in reports and interviews for electronic and print media, lectures for students at Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski and the University of Library Studies and Information Technologies, as well as extracurricular activities for secondary school pupils from Doris Tenedi Private Language School, National Music School Liubomir Pipkov, General Jose de San Martin School, and others.The list of people interested in visiting the unique library museum grows daily.

What is inside the Book History Hall? In this completely transformed area of the Northwestern part of the library buildingvisitors can entirely immerse themselves in an unexpected reality, quitedifferent from the usual library environment. 13 information boards follow every stage of book history – from the earliest written signs (lines, ovals), carved on stone and clay tablets, throughthe development of the first written systems and alphabets, followed by the handwritten traditions of literature andJohannes Gutenberg’s revolutionary invention of the movable type printing press (which introduced the individual lettersand contributed to the development of the printing and publishing), to the endless possibilities of the 21st century’scutting-edge technologies. Natural materials for making paper and ink, bookbinding and decoration techniques, etc. can also be seen.

The information boards, which briefly tell the history of books, are accompanied by 15 showcases exhibiting examples of writing.Among them are copies of clay tablets with Shumerian and Ugaritic script, Egyptian papyri and samples of Greek and Latin alphabets. The focus, of course, is on the handwritten tradition of the Glagolitic and Cyrillic scripts, presented by copies of pages from valuable documents in possession of the National Library (the Enina Apostle, the Businci Four gospels, the First Sophronius’ of Vratsa copy of Istoriya  Slavyanobolgarskaya (Slavonic-Bulgarian History ) written by the Bulgarian clergyman and man of letters Paisius of Hilendar etc. Copies of important documents that had profound effect on the history of book printing such as the Gutenberg Bible, Abagar by the Bulgarian Roman Catholic Bishop of Nikopol Filip Stanislavov and Stematography by Hristofor Žefarović are on display.

A small functional replica of the Gutenberg press is of particular interest to visitors. Other objects of interest are two digitised personal notebooks of Levski and Botev available to browse through in e-book format, as well as Riben bukvar  (Fish Primer) by Petar Beron, Sophronius’ Copy of Slavonic-Bulgarian History by St Paisius of Hilendar etc.

Opening hours of Book History Hall and Classroom in the Library:

Monday – Friday: 9:00 – 17:00 

To book a visit contact to:

Tsvetelina Nakova

Tel. +359 2 9183/126