Manuscripts of Bulgarian origin X-XIV c., preserved in foreign archives and libraries

(search, investigate, short description in digital form)

Miltenova, Anissava;
Todorova, Ekaterina

The Initiative

This initiative is made available in the framework of the project BG05M2OP001-1.001-0001 Building and Development of a Centre of Excellence "Heritage BG".


The manuscript books with Bulgarian provenance over the centuries have a complicated history – they were exported from monasteries and literary centers, especially during the Byzantine rule 11th-12th c., and also after the end of the 14 c. when the Bulgarian lands fell under Ottoman rule. The migration of Bulgarian manuscripts is also conditioned by the actions of travelers in the Balkans in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries (eg V. Grigorovich, A. Gilferding, etc.), who collect and export literary artefacts, which become part of their collections or pass into private hands. Later they were transferred to libraries and archives.

Data were searched and exhibited in the project "Southern and Eastern Slavs: Diversity and Interaction of Written Cultures 11-20 c." (2018-2020), ERA NET Rus Plus program. The study will include both countries in Europe and monastic gatherings outside it, e.g. the monastery "St. Catherine ”of Sinai. Manuscript collections are concentrated in Russia, Austria, Poland, Romania, the Czech Republic and others. Many valuable codices are divided into parts, each part located in a different country – for example, the Supraslski sbornik from the 10 c., which is kept in Warsaw (Poland), Ljubljana (Slovenia) and St. Petersburg (Russia).

The collection in a annotated index of literary monuments of Bulgarian origin, which will be available on the Internet, has long been a task of Bulgarian medieval studies. The launch of such a project was reported to the UNESCO Memory of the World Commission in 2016, but did not receive financial support. Nevertheless, thanks to the many years of efforts of specialists - through published descriptions and separate studies - there is a beginning, as early as the 70s of the last century with the search for B. St. Angelov and K. Kuev, as well as to this day with the contributions of Kl. Ivanova, Sv. Nikolova, M. Yovcheva and others. Poland and the Czech Republic long ago made their projects for literary heritage in foreign libraries and archives, and knowledge can be gained from their experience and the formal framework of annotated indexes. Both the available analytical descriptions of manuscripts and the opportunity to study some de visu collections will be used. The duration of the project is expected to be 7 months if possible, starting from January 1, 2022.

Оbjective of the project

Annotated index of manuscripts of Bulgarian origin 10th-14th centuries, preserved in foreign bookstores (digital form)


  • Collection and research of information from published descriptions of manuscripts 10th-14th c.
  • Study of manuscripts on site or in digital copies if possible.
  • Building the architecture of an annotated index for exposure on the Internet.
  • Study of the manuscripts and compilation of annotations and relevant bibliography
  • Display on the website of the project "Heritage BG"

Expected results

Annotated index of manuscripts of Bulgarian origin 10th-14th centuries, preserved in foreign bookstores (in digital form)