University library "St. Kliment Ohridski"

Chronicle for the period from 1888 to 1944

Establishment of the first University Library in Bulgaria. The Chairman Alexander Teodorov-Balan reported at a meeting of the Academic Council of the newly opened Higher Pedagogical Course that the Ministry of Education had made orders to take from Sofia National Library “all doublets of books and serials useful for the library of the Course”, thereby “laying the first cornerstone of a library for teachers and students”. 


The first inventory is drawn up, which includes all books acquired during the first academic year. 


The foundation of the library collection began. There are chosen 44 foreign serials to be subscribed by the library. The first donations are received – the library of the school association “Poznay sebe si” and doublets of books and serials from the National Libraries in Sofia and Plovdiv. There are purchased books and serials at the price of 10,000 BGL. The library collections contain 2,577 titles in 4,243 volumes. 

The chairman of the Academic Council A. Teodorov-Balan set out the priorities of the library in his report at the end of the first academic year (1888/89):

– to acquire and store the “Bulgarian literature to the fullest extent possible”, 
– to acquire and store the foreign literature as “the most important part of the library collections”. 

11 September

The Academic Council appointed Prof. Lyubomir Miletich as a Librarian.

Establishment of a library at the Faculty of Physics and Mathematics with initial collection of 160 volumes of books and 26 serials donated by the Physico-Mathematical Society (founded in 1880). The libraries at the institutes of mathematics, physics and chemistry will be later divided from it. A multi-item acquisition of course reading materials started after a proposal by Prof. M. Dragomanov. 


An alphabetical catalog in a book form was established. 


A student reading room was opened. 


A library of the Natural History Institute (opened in the same year) was established. 


A library collection of the Faculty of Law was created, then there were differentiated seminar libraries to the Faculty courses. 


Founding of the library collection at the Astronomical Observatory of the Higher School (opened the same year). It will become the Astronomy Library, which is already part of the Physics Library. 

Published: Argirov, Stoyan. Edin balgarski rakopis ot XVІІ vek v Prazhkiya muzey. Sredets: Darzh. pech., 32 p.
Offprint from Periodichesko spisanie na balgarskoto knizhovno druzhestvo, 1893, № ХLІV


3 August

The Academic Council decided to exchange books with a foreign partner – the Russian Archaeological Institute. 

24 October

The Academic Council accepted the resignation of Prof. Miletich and expressed its gratitude for “his labor and efforts benefiting the library”. 

1 November

Pravilnik na Visheto uchilishte (Chapter VI, paragraph A §§ 66-73) regulated for the first time the activities of the library. A Library Committee should be elected at the first meeting of the Academic Council at the beginning of each academic year (§§ 69). 


The libraries to the seminars in History and Philosophy were opened. The first centralized library network in Bulgaria was established. Regulations for the internal organization of the faculties, which govern the activities of the libraries in the institutes and seminars were adopted. These libraries are defined as “parts of the Central Library of the Higher School”. 

1 December

Stoyan Argirov is seconded in Sofia from the Ministry of National Education (as Director of the National Library in Plovdiv) with the aim to organize the library of the Higher School. 


Published: Argirov, Stoyan. Rakovodstvo za urezhdane narodni, obshtinski, uchenicheski i chastni biblioteki. Plovdiv: V. I. Kalajdzhiev, 1898. III, 122 p.

A revision of the main card catalog under the guidance of Stoyan Argirov started


The University Library purchased the private libraries of two professors at the Higher School – the Ukrainian Prof. Michael Dragomanov and the Swiss Alfred Audin. 

The Geology Library of the Institute of Mineralogy and Geology was established by Prof. Georgi Zlatarski. 


16 February

The first library regulations were adopted. 

The Geography Library was founded by Prof. Anastas Ishirkov. 


A library collection to the Department of Political Economy at the Faculty of Law was established. 


Fifteen years after its establishment, the University Library has 23,447 titles in 44,281 volumes. According to A. Teodorov-Balan “its collections are the largest ones and unique among all libraries in Bulgaria”. 

The Pedagogy Library was established. Its initial collections contain pedagogical literature from the library of the Philosophy Seminar. 


After the revision of the main catalog started the creation of alphabetical and classified card catalogs with solid cards with size 11/9 cm under the Staderini system. The bibliographical descriptions follow the rules set out in Stoyan Argirov’s “Rakovodstvo”, which were harmonized with the Prussian Instructions popularized in 1889. 


The alphabetical catalog was completed.


The Classical Philology Seminar Library was established. 

The Geochemistry Library at the Institute of Mineralogy and Petrography was established. 


A book bindery was opened for binding and restoration of library items. 

Published: Argirov, Stoyan. Iz nahodkite mi v svetogorskite manastiri Hilendar i Zograf. Sofia, 1907, pp. 219-238. 

Offprint from Periodichesko spisanie, № 68. 

A library at the Seminar of Comparative Literary History was established. 


The classified catalog was established. It was done under a scheme drawn up by Stoyan Argirov, based on the classification scheme of the library of the Free University of Brussels. 

3 July

The Academic Council adopted Regulations of the University Library. 


The Faculty of Medicine and its library were established. 


The Faculty of Agronomy and Forestry and its library was established. 


Acad. Stoyan Argirov is appointed as a Director of the University Library. 


The Faculty of Theology and the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and their libraries were opened. 


The library at the Institute of German, French and English Philology was established. 


The University Library is included within the scope of the Depository Law thereby having the statutory right of acquiring one item from the national publishing production. 

The Academic Council decided to be differentiated “Bulgarian Revival” collection within the University Library. 


15 February

The Academic Council decided to be regulated the participation of the University Library in the international library loan network. 


9 March

The Academic Council adopted new Regulations of the University Library. 


Mrs. Dora Gabe-Peneva donated the private library of Prof. Boyan Penev – 4,814 titles in 6,657 volumes to the University Library . 


Mrs. Lydia Shishmanova donated to the Seminar of Comparative Literary History the private library of Prof. Ivan Shishmanov – 2,323 titles in 2,388 volumes. 



The University Library moved into the new building designed for the purpose by the architects Ivan Vasilyov and Dimitar Tzolov. 


Published: Argirov, Stoyan. Katalozi na bibliotekata. Ustrojstvo. Naredba. Polzuvane. Sofia: Sofia Univ. 1936. 44 p. 

1 December

Kiril Seizov, lecturer at the Faculty of Physics and Mathematics, is appointed as a Director of the University Library.


Establishment of a printing house under the administrative direction of the Director of the University Library. 

Started the creation of new card catalogs (alphabetical and classified) on international catalog card size 7.5 X 12.5 cm. 


Started the printing of cards for the books of the branch libraries. An alphabetical union catalog of books in two series (Cyrillic and Latin) is organized in the Central Library. 

Delegation from the USSR organized an exhibition of Russian books in the University Library. The books from the exhibition – 4000 volumes were donated to the library. 


The first alphabetical card catalog of serials, acquired by the Central University Library and branch libraries, was created. It is organized as a union catalog. 


Published: Argirov, Stoyan. Iz nahodkite mi v svetogorskite manastiri Hilendar i Zograf. Prodalzhenie. Sofia: Darzh. pech.,1942. 22 p. 

Offprint from Spisanie na Balg. akad. na naukite i izkustvata., № 63


Started the publication of the bibliographic series: 

Bibliografiya na izdaniyata na Sofijskiya universitet
Author: Kovachev, Asen S. 

1904 – 1942. Sofia: Universitetska pechatnitsa, 1943. 366 pp.
1943 – 1946. Sofia: Universitetska pechatnitsa, 1947. 31 pp.
Author: Vasileva, Juliana. 

1956 – 1965. Sofia: Kliment Ohridski University Press, 1969, 322 pp. 
1966 – 1970. Sofia: Kliment Ohridski University Press, 1975, 245 pp.
1971 – 1975. Sofia: Kliment Ohridski University Press, 1979, 257 pp.

Authors: Juliana Vasileva, Z. Oreshkova-Zavyalova, Penka Troshanova, Tsvetanka Kirova-Georgieva

1976 – 1980. Sofia: Kliment Ohridski University Press, 1988, 342 pp. 



The catalogs, the reference collection and part of the library collections were evacuated. 


During an air attack a bomb fell into the basement of the library and destroyed 15,000 volumes. 

Library collections consist of 330,581 volumes.