The SS. Cyril and Methodius National Library is Bulgaria’s national library, located in the capital city of Sofia. Founded on April 4, 1878, the Bulgarian National Library was elevated three years later, and the Bulgarian National Revival Archive was integrated with it in 1924.
It’s called “SS. Cyril and Methodius” (Saints Cyril and Methodius). They are the ones who invented the Glagolitic alphabet. Cyril is the patron saint of the Cyrillic alphabet.
The current library structure is one of Sofia’s landmarks. It was created by the well-known Bulgarian architectural partnership Vasilyov-Dimitur Tsolov and built between 1940 and 1953.
The SS. Cyril and Methodius National Library is Bulgaria’s biggest public library and the country’s oldest cultural institution following its freedom, and it also has one of the most extensive Ottoman archive collections.
Mikhail Bobotinov, a teacher and City Council secretary in Sofia, advocated establishing a public library in 1878 to meet the city’s cultural and educational growth needs. The library was then organized and opened in 1878, and it eventually got its own building in 1900. A new building was started in 1939, but regrettably, both the new and old buildings were destroyed during a bombardment in Sofia in 1944. The National Library renames its new building “Vasil Kolarov” in 1953. It wasn’t until 1963 that the library was renamed “St. Cyril and Methodius” instead of “Vasil Kolarov.”
Since its inception, the fundamental goal of the SS. Cyril and Methodius National Library has been to collect manuscripts, ancient printed books, and all literature in Bulgarian or published by Bulgarian writers in a foreign language. Later, a collection of Slavic and other language manuscripts was established. The extensive personal libraries of historian Prof. Marin Drinov and poet Petko Slaveikov, as well as collections from various churches and monasteries, were among the earliest submissions. The National Library established two collections, one for Bulgarian papers and the other for Oriental materials. The institution has had the appearance of a historical archive from its inception.