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Reference Sources on Bulgarian History

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Our first consideration in dealing with Bulgarian history is that there are no comprehensive reference works performing the function of guides or bibliographies of bibliographies completely devoted to Bulgarian history. With the exception of the guide Les Etudes Balkaniques et Sud-Est Europeennes en Bulgarie, this kind of orientational information is included in general or subject historical bibliographies. A good place to star is the supplement “Bibliografii po istorii Bolgarii (1945-1958 gg.)” in the bibliography Istoriia Bolgarii do 9 sentiabria 1944. Ukazatel’ literatury 1945-1958 or the more updated “Bibliography” in the Historical Dictionary of Bulgaria.

A second important aspect is that sources written during the Soviet period usually divide Bulgarian history in two parts: before and after the constitution of the People’s Republic of Bulgaria in 1944. Scholars must be aware that they strongly reflect the principles of Soviet Marxist historiography.

For the periods not covered by any historical bibliography, we refer students and scholars to the section on the Bulgarian National Bibliography.

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Bibliographical guides

Les Etudes Balkaniques et Sud-Est Europeennes en Bulgarie. Guide de Documentation

Sofia, 1966, 184 pp.
U of I Library Call Number: International & Area Studies Library Ref Slavic–Bulgaria 016.9496 N214e; Also available in Main Stack and Oak Street Facility

The first aim of this guide is to shadow light on the structure, the administration, and the activities of Bulgarian scientific institutions, museums, archives and libraries. But it also includes a detailed guide to reference works for various subjects: archaeology, fine arts, law, ethnography, geography, history, literature, linguistics, education, and philosophy. The kind of works listed include encyclopedias, bibliographies, dictionaries, and periodical indexes. Each entry is transliterated and accompanied by a translation of the title in French. The guide is easily accessible through the following indexes: alphabetical index of the scientific organizations, alphabetical index of periodicals, name index.

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Historical bibliographies

Istoriia Bolgarii do 9 sentiabria 1944. Ukazatel’ literatury 1945-1958

Izdatel’stvo Akademii Nauk SSSR, Moskva, 1962, vol. 1, 551 pages + vol. 2, 307 pages.
U of I Library Call Number: International & Area Studies Slavic– Bulgarian Reference 016.94977 Ak3i; Also available at Oak Street Facility

This bibliography is the result of a cooperation between the Library for Social Sciences of the Soviet Academy of Science and the Bulgarian Bibliographical Institut Elin Penin. It includes mostly works by Bulgarian scholars published between 1945 and 1958, some Soviet and foreign publications are also listed. It covers Bulgarian history till September 9th, 1944, the following period being covered by the bibliography Narodnaia Respublika Bolgariia. Istoricheskaia bibliografiia.

This bibliography includes both monographs and articles (for a list of the periodicals indexed see pages 456-480). It considers history in a broad sense: economics, politics, military affairs, literature, fine arts, science, religion, medicine, and sports. Especially the second volume is devoted to literature, fine arts, and science. The material presented in the bibliography is organized by main historical periods. Big relevance is given to the works related to the Bulgarian communist party. Considering some particular aspects of Bulgarian history, the compilers of this bibliography decided to look outside the borders of modern Bulgaria and include also some materials dealing with Romanian and Macedonian history.

The bibliographical descriptions are very good. Apart from the usual elements of the bibliographic citation, they include supplementary information on the monograph or article taken into consideration, like names of editors and translators, the presence of introductions or summaries in foreign languages, information on previous editions and translations. For collections of works, it’s given their table of contents. Most entries are annotated.

The bibliography is easily accessible through three indexes: author and title index, name index, and subject index.

Narodnaia Respublika Bolgariia. Istoricheskaia bibliografiia

Izdatel’stvo Akademii Nauk SSSR, Moskva 1954, Vol. 1 1944-1947, 675 pp. + Vol. 2 1948-1952, 856 pp. There is also a third volume, including 1953-1957, but U of I doesn’t hold it.
U of I Library Call Number: International & Area Studies Slavic — Bulgarian Reference 016.94977 Ak1n

This bibliography is meant to be the continuation of the previous one. Here the Soviet perspective is evident. Still, we think that this bibliography is not to be overlooked, since it indexes 418 Bulgarian newspapers and periodicals, and 159 Soviet periodical publications. The first part of the bibliography is devoted to the liberation of Bulgaria by the Soviet Army and to the popular insurrection of September 9th. In this section are included also materials related to the history of the Bulgarian Communist Party between 1941 and 1944, and to Bulgarian foreign and national politics in those years. The second period goes from 1944 to 1947: this is the biggest part of the first volume. Great relevance is given to primary sources, like acts and laws, proceeding of congresses and speeches by Bulgarian politicians, etc. Not all the entries are annotated. At the beginning of many sections, within the paragraph called “Istochniki,” are listed newspapers and periodicals for additional readings. The bibliography is accompanied by an author and a subject index. The second volume also has a name index.

Narodna Biblioteka “Kiril i Metodii”, 1300 godini Bulgariia

Sofiia, 1973, 364 pages.
U of I Library Call Number: International & Area Studies Slavic — Bulgarian Reference 016.94977 S0232k

This bibliography was published to celebrate the 1300th anniversary of the Establishing of the Bulgarian State. It covers Bulgarian history from the foundation of the first Bulgarian reign in 681 to the constitution of the People’s Republic of Bulgaria in 1944. It includes party and government documents, monographs, and articles written in Bulgarian between 1944 and 1972. The bibliography is organized by main subjects: foundation and development of the Bulgarian reign; democratic and revolutionary traditions in Bulgaria; Bulgaria towards socialism; international relationships; Bulgarian contributions to world’s culture. Moreover there is a section devoted to Bulgarian history represented in literature works. The bibliography is also accessible through an author index.
The same material, and six more years (till 1978), is covered by a similar bibliography Tridadeset Veka Bulgariia. Istoricheska bibliografiia, Sofiia, 1980 (U of I Library Call Number: IAS Slavic– Bulgarian Reference 016.94977 T736).

Narodna Biblioteka "Kiril i Medodii"

La science historique bulgare 1960-1964. Bibliographie

in Etudes Historiques, vol. 2, suppl.

La science historique bulgare 1965-1969. Bibliographie

in Etudes Historiques, vol. 5, suppl.
Sofiia, 1965-70. 2 vols. vol. 1: 215p., vol. 2: 472p.
U of I Library Call Number:
 Main Stacks 949.77 B873e (v.1-14); International & Area Studies Slavic — Bulgarian Reference v.2 sup. and v.5 +sup

Issued on occasion of the 12th and 13th International Congresses of Historical Sciences, these bibliographies include Bulgarian works published in Bulgaria between 1960 and 1969. They can be used also by students without a deep knowledge of Bulgarian language, since the bibliographic citations are transliterated and the title are translated in French. The first volume includes 1546 entries (monographs, articles, and reviews, with the exclusion of newspapers articles) organized according to the traditional Marxist periodization of Bulgarian history. The second volume includes 3560 entries. Compared to the first one, it is more complete because it comprises also works on archaeology, ethnography, economics, philosophy, literary theory, and history of fine arts. The second volume has more access points: not only a name index but also a geographical name index, and a subjects index. The bibliography is not annotated.

La science historique bulgare

Bulgarskata istoricheska nauka. Bibliografiia

Sofiia, 1975-85.  3 vols. vol. 3: 1970-74, 741p.; vol. 4: 1975-79, 901p.; vol. 5: 1980-84, 113p.
U of I Library Call Number:
 Main Stacks 016.94977 B871 (v.3-4). International & Area Studies Slavic — Bulgarian Reference 016.94977 B871 v.5

These three volumes continue the tradition initiated by the National Committee of Bulgarian Historians with the supplements to Etudes Historiques, i.e. to publish a bibliography of Bulgarian works on occasion of every International Congress of Historical Sciences. They cover the period from 1970 to 1984. They follow the same methodological principles of their predecessors, except their broader perspective: they include works by Bulgarian historians published in Bulgaria and abroad, but also the works by foreign authors published in Bulgaria or translated into Bulgarian. Doctoral dissertations and reviews are listed in separate chapters.

Bulgarskata istoricheska nauka

Novaia Sovetskaia i inostrannaia literatura po obshchestvennym naukam. Narodnaia Respublika Bolgariia

Moskva. Akademiia nauk SSSR, Institut Nauchnoi Informatsii po Obshchestvennym naukam
U of I has 1967-1987.
U of I Library Call Number: Main Stacks 016.914977 N856 (1967-1991)

This monthly bulletin, which continues the bulletin Novaia literatura po Bolgarii (1947-1948), includes monographs, textbooks for the high school, articles and reviews from periodical publications, forewords and afterwords to literary works, reference works, and proceedings of conferences. The bibliography is mostly annotated. It covers the following subjects: socialism and Marxist and Leninist theories in Bulgaria, information on the socio-political, economical, cultural and scientific life in Bulgaria. It includes material in Bulgarian, Russian, Ukrainian, Belorussian, and the Baltic languages (these entries are provided with a translation in Russian language). An author and a subject index make the bibliography easy to use.

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Subject bibliographies

Bibliografiia na Bulgarskata Arkheologiia (1879-1966)

S.Georgieva, V.Belkov. , Sofiia, Izdatelstvo na Bulgarskata Akademiia na Naukite, 1974. 478 p.
U of I Library Call Number: International & Area Studies Slavic — Bulgarian Reference Q. 016.9134977 G297b; also available at Oak Street Facility

This is the second edition, revised and expanded, of a bibliography published under the same title in 1957. The bibliography aims to collect and organize works about Bulgarian archaeology. The monographs and articles taken into consideration were published between 1879 and 1966. The material is organized by eight main historical periods: primitive societies, preroman epoch, Greek colonies, Roman Empire, the Slavs in the Balkan peninsula, medieval Bulgarian reign, and Ottoman rule. Furthermore, there are sections devoted to special subjects within Bulgarian archaeology: epigraphy, numismatics, anthropology, archaeological maps in Bulgaria, archaeological activity and museology. The last chapter is bibliography of bio- and biobibliographical sources, it also contains good references to the most important bibliographies related to Bulgarian archaeology. All the title in foreign languages, apart from Russian, are translated into Bulgarian. The bibliography is selectively annotated. There are two indexes: author index and geographical name index.

Narodna Biblioteka “Kiril i Metodii”. Prabulgari. Bibliograficheski Ukazatel

Sofiia, 1981. 202 p.
U of I Library Call Number: International & Area Studies Slavic — Bulgarian Reference 016.9090491811 C453p

This bibliography is devoted to the Proto-Bulgarians, to their migration to Europe, the establishment of their reign in the Balkan peninsula, their administrative organization, their religion, everyday life, culture, etc. It includes both monographs and articles.

Narodna Biblioteka “Kiril i Metodii”. 90 godini ot osvobozhdenieto na Bulgariia ot osmansko igo. Bibliografiia

Sofiia, 1968. 86 p.
U of I Library Call Number: International & Area Studies Slavic — Bulgarian Reference 016.94977 D64d

The aim of this selective bibliography is to cover the most significant sources on the Bulgarian liberation movement from the Ottoman Empire. It comprises approx. 400 monographs and articles. It’s divided into four sections: the first two parts deal with the most important historical events which characterized the Ottoman domination in Bulgaria. The most extensive section is the one devoted to the Russo-Turkish war of 1877-1878. The last part is devoted to the “friendship between Bulgaria and the Soviet Union.” The bibliography does not consider local realities, i.e. the movements of liberation in particular towns or regions of the country. It includes works in Bulgarian and Russian languages. Some literary works are also included. The bibliography is mostly annotated.

Septemvriiskoto narodno antifashistko vostanie 1923 g. Bibliografiia

Sofiia, Partizdat, 1973. 430 p.
U of I Library Call Number: International & Area Studies Slavic — Bulgarian Reference 016.94977 Se63

This subject bibliography is completely devoted to the September 1923 uprising. It includes only materials (monographs and articles) published in Bulgaria. Apart from the usual personal name index, it has a nice geographical name index. To get brief information on the main events and the protagonists of the September uprising, students may use the encyclopedia Septembriiskoto vustanie 1923 (Sofiia: Partizdat, 1973 – U of I Library Call Number: IAS Slavic — Bulgarian Reference 949.7702 Se632).

25 godini Narodna Vlast. Bibliograficheski ukazatel

Sofiia, Nauka i izkustvo, 1969. 373 p.
U of I Library Call Number: International & Area Studies Slavic — Bulgarian Reference 015.4977 D959

This bibliography was compiled on occasion of the 25th anniversary of the foundation of the People’s Republic of Bulgaria. It deals with the development of the country under socialist rule, and covers the period from 1944 to 1968. It can be considered an alternative to the bibliography Narodnaia Respublika Bolgariia. Istoricheskaia bibliografiia. The compilers took into consideration the Bulgarian National Bibliography Bulgarski knigopis for monographs and the periodical index Letopis na periodichniia pechat for periodicals. Special attention is given to party and government decisions. Given the scope of the topic, the bibliography is selective and aims to give relevance to Bulgarian works. The entries are annotated only when the content or nature of the work is not clear from the title.

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Istoriia na Bulgariia. Entsiklopediia ot A do IA

Sofiia: Bulvest 2000, 2001, 415 p.
U of I Library Call Number: International & Area Studies Slavic — Bulgarian Reference 949.9003 Is7

This historical encyclopedia includes approx. 1740 brief entries. The entries are not signed and not all of them have a bibliography for further reading. The work is meant for beginning students and a broad public.

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Historical Dictionary of Bulgaria

R. Detrez, Lanham, Md.: Scarecrow Press, 1997, 466 p.
U of I Library Call Number: Main Stacks 949.77003 D484h

This historical dictionary belongs to series European Historical Dictionaries edited by Jon Woronoff. It has a good chronology and a clear introduction for students just starting their studies in Bulgarian history.

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Biographical sources

Deiateli bolgarskogo natsional’no-osvoboditel’nogo dvizheniia XVII-XIX vv. Biobibliograficheskii slovar’

A.A.Ulunian, Moskva, 1996, 2 vols.
U of I Library Call Number: International & Area Studies Slavic — Bulgarian Reference 949.9003 Ul8d

This biographical dictionary collects information on the people, who took part in the movement of liberation from the Ottoman rule. The dictionary includes biographies of 885 persons. The scholarly value of this source is in the bibliography, which accompanies every entry. Not only are the writings of the single “actors” of the liberation movement taken into consideration, but also information on their archives and a bibliography of the works written about them.

Istoricheskata Bulgaristika v chuzhbina 1944-1980. Bibliograficheski spravochnik

Bulgarska Akademiia na Naukite. Instistut za istoriia. Tsanka Slavcheva (ed.), Sofiia, Izdatelstvo na Bulgarskata Akademiia na Naukite, 1983, 1003 pp.
U of I Library Call Number: Main Stacks 949.7700992 Sl16i

This biographical dictionary was compiled on occasion of the First Congress on Bulgarian Studies held in Sofiia in 1981. It includes bio-bibliographical information on foreign researchers active between 1944 and 1980. Bulgarian scholars living abroad are also included. This dictionary is provided with four indexes: name index arranged by country of provenience, alphabetical name index, geographical index, and subject index. A second volume was published in 1987, including information on the years from 1980 to 1985 (IAS Slavic –Bulgarian Reference 016.94977 Sl16i).

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Periodical indexes

A good place to verify the bibliographical data of some important Bulgarian newspapers is the bibliography Newspapers of East Central and Southeastern Europe in the Library of Congress (IAS Slavic– General Slavic reference 016.0794 Un3n). This source is also relevant to verify the LC holdings as concerns Slavic newspapers.
On the site of the Bayern State Library you can find the table of contents of the most important current historical journals.

Bulgarskata Akademiia na Naukite, Biblioteka, ed. by E. Savova. Pokazalets na spisane “Novo Vreme” 1897-1923

Sofiia, Izdanie na Bulgarskata Akademiia na Naukite, 1950, 304 pp.
U of I Library Call Number: International & Area Studies Slavic — Bulgarian Reference 335.405 NOVOindex; Also available at Oak Street Facility

This work indexes 23 issues of the journal Novo Vreme, from 1897 to 1923, thus reflecting the history of the socialist movement and the Bulgarian communist party. The index is organized by subject: philosophy, study of the socialist movement, social sciences, political issues, economical issues, October revolution and the Soviet Union, natural sciences, literary theory, belles lettres. The index is accompanied by a very good subject index.
The years 1947-1956 are indexed in a separate volume (Call Number: 335.405 NOVO v. 23-32 Index).

Bulgarskata Akademiia na Naukite, Institut po istoriia. Spisanie “Istoricheski Predleg” 1944-1964. Bibliograficheski spravochnik

Sofiia, Izdatelstvo na Bulgarskata Akademiia na Naukite, 1970.
U of I Library Call Number: International & Area Studies Slavic — Bulgarian Reference 949.77005 IS 1944-64 index; Issues of the periodical available in the Main Stacks (v. 1-68); Recent issues in IAS Slavic Serials.

Istoricheskii predleg was one of the most important historical periodicals published in Bulgaria. This work indexes its first 20 years of publication, from 1944 to 1964. The index is made up of two distinct sections: the first one (by the bibliographer P. Koledarov) reflects the structure of the journal, going through its sections: official documents, general articles, announcements, historiography, against capitalism, discussions, lectures, materials and publications, reviews, letters, bibliography, survey. In the second part (by E.Kostova) the index is organized by subject: general and methodological articles, Bulgaria before the foundation of the Bulgarian reign, Middle ages Bulgaria, Turkish domination, Bulgaria during capitalism (1878-1944), socialist time (1944-1964), universal history, history in other nations, Bulgarian relations with other nations, special historical sciences, archives, historiography, archaeology, ethnography, historical bibliography, historical geography. The only index available is an author index.

Sovetskaia pechat’ o Bolgarii. XI. 1917 – IX. 1944 gg. Istoricheskaia bibliografiia

G.I.Cherniavskii, P.S.Sokhan’, Sofiia, 1970, 385 pp.
U of I Library Call Number: International & Area Studies Slavic — Bulgarian Reference 016.94977 C42s

This index is very useful for every historian, whose aim is to see how Bulgarian history was reflected in Soviet newspapers in the first half of the XX century. It includes articles, correspondences, and materials of various nature published in 7 Soviet newspapers: PravdaIzvestiiaKomsomol’skaia pravdaTrudKrasnaia ZvezdaKomunist (Ukrainian newspaper), and Visti (Ukrainian newspaper). The bibliography is divided into 8 sections, each one treating a different period in the history of Bulgaria from 1917 to 1944. Each section has some thematical subdivisions. The entries are annotated only when the articles’ titles are not clear. The bibliography is provided with two indexes: personal name index and geographical name index.

“Bulgarian Historical Review” marks its 25th anniversary. Bibliography and scientometric analysis

M.Miloseva, in Bulgarian Historical Review, 1999, 3-4, pp. 222-292.
U of I Library Call Number: Oak Street Facility 949.77005 Bulg (v. 1-2 – v. 29)

This works attempts to index the first 25 volumes of the journal Bulgarian Historical Review, from 1972 to 1997. It organizes the descriptions according to the following subjects: history of Bulgaria, regional history, history of the Balkans, general history, methodology and historiography, auxiliary historical sciences, reviews and criticism, scientific activities, interdisciplinary studies. Within each section and subsection the descriptions area ranged in alphabetical order by author’s name (first those in Roman alphabet and then those in Cyrillic). The section indexing reviews and criticism is arranged by subject. This index is easily searchable through an index of personal names and an alphabetical subject index.