On the Oriental Collection in the National Library of Bulgaria
(53rd Annual Meeting of the PIAC, St. Petersburg 2010)
First manuscripts written in different Oriental languages came to the National Library immediately after it was established in 1878, in other words after the Liberation of Bulgaria. In such way the so-called Oriental Collection was formed. Before that these books belonged to the Library of Othman Pazvantoglu (died in 1807) in Vidin, the Library of Mehmed Husrev Pasha (died in 1847) in Samokov, the Vakif libraries in Sofia, Kyustendil and some other towns. A smaller part was acquired through a purchase or donations from individuals and state institutions. That is why the main part of the collection consists of books in Arabic, Ottoman-Turkish and Persian.
Today the National Library has been keeping and processing the manuscript and the old printed books collection of the Tombul Jami library in Shumen, founded in 1744 by Sheriff Khalil Pasha, who was bom in the same town and held important administrative positions in the capital of the Ottoman Empire. It contains about 1200 volumes of manuscripts in Arabic, Ottoman-Turkish and Persian and about 1500 volumes of old printed books in the Arabic script.