Adopt a book programmeat the St. St. Cyril and Methodius National Library

Why “adopt a book”?

The books that consistently attract the interest of many users need to berestored more regularly than usual. Although protected by restricted access, the most valuable collections of manuscripts, old-printed editions, archival documents, and photographs still need to be subjected to procedures that extend their life. A significant part of these special collections, stored in the National Library, have undergone major restoration and are in good condition. However,there are still documents which have been restored through old technologies and are currently in unsatisfactory condition, as well as documents whose restoration has not been accomplished for various reasons. The funds needed to restore the manuscripts as close to their original form as possible are significant and exceed the finances, provided by the library’sbudget and other projects. Therefore, following the example of many European and American libraries, the St. St. Cyril and Methodius National Library has also decided to start its permanent donation programme.

However, unlike the usual practice the National Library gives priority to documents from its special collections, instead of new publications. Quite unusually, the first manuscript that was selected for restoration, belonged to another institution – the Ecclesiastical Historical and Archival Institute of the Patriarchate of Bulgaria. The reasonfor this choice was quite simple – within a project funded by the Ministry of Education and Science, a scientific team at the National Library compiled and published a volume,using the inventory of Slavic manuscripts of the Ecclesiastical Historical and Archival Institute. Funding for restoration has been provided for part of the collectiondue to its poor condition.Thus eight manuscripts and several fragments have been saved.The “Adopt a book” Programme started with the restoration of one of the most damaged manuscripts to raise awareness of the urgency of the project and the belief that the written heritage does not belong to institutions but to the people and the state.

The next candidates for “adoption” have been selected from the holdings of the National Library – manuscripts and old printed books. Thenext books whose restoration is urgent will be selected in the near future mainly from these holdings.

Who can “adopt a book”?

Everyone, who would like to do so. A donation could be made by an individual, by state or private institutions or public organisations. Several donors could contribute to the “adoption” of a book.The donation could be made in someone’s name and for a specific occasion.

What does the adopter receive?

They has the right to have their name written on an artistically designedlabel and placed in the box where the document is stored. They get access to the manuscript in its original and/or restored form.

The adopter is awarded a donation certificate specifically made for the programme and signed by the Director of the National Library. The donors’ names are inscribed in the “Adopters” and “Adopt a Book” sectionsand areannounced officially on solemn occasions such asthe Day of the Enlighteners (November 1st), the National Library Holiday (December 10th), etc.

How to adopt a book?

The donation money could be paid directly at the Cash-desk of the Library (first floor, room № 60)or deposited into the Library’s bank account: BULSTAT 000672293, IBAN BG20UNCR76303100112993 BIC code UNCRBGSF. The donor shall sign a Contract with the Library, in which the exact amount and the purpose for which it will be spentshall bestrictly specified.

For more information contact: Nona Petkova, archivist in the Department of Manuscripts and Old Printed Books,coordinator of the programme, tel. 02 9183 164, e-mail:,

The Programme’s partners

Kultura Newspaper is our first and permanent media partner. In October 2011, the programme “Adopt a Book” was approved as part of Raiffeisenbank’s donation campaign “Choose to help”– 2011, in its section “Culture and Education”, thanks to which considerable funds were raised between 2011 and September 2012.