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Bulgarian librarianship: Surviving change through international cooperation

Advances in Library Administration and Organization

ISBN: 978-1-84855-710-9, eISBN: 978-1-84855-711-6

Publication date: 15 July 2009


The history of Bulgarian librarianship comprises a history of survival under change imposed by foreign rule. This chapter traces the historical development of Bulgarian libraries and LIS education through the lens of Bulgarian history. Part I presents an overview of Bulgarian history, focusing on four dramatic epochs. During Ottoman rule (1393–1878), Bulgarian libraries survived by hiding. The second epoch, European intervention, Russian, occurred under the Austro-Hungarian, and German rule (1878–1944). Bulgarian LIS survived by adopting European practices and the German academic model of library education. The third epoch, Soviet rule (1944–1989), saw a massive suppression of information, Bulgarian libraries survived by maintaining an undercurrent of dissent. The fourth epoch began in 1989 with the onset of democratic reforms. Bulgarian librarianship survived the financial crisis and anarchy of that epoch by adopting foreign practices and establishing partnerships with foreign library institutions. Part II describes agents of change acting within the Bulgarian LIS field during the radical change from Soviet to democratic rule. The change agents included the formation of a union, cooperation among Bulgarian libraries, and international cooperation with Western institutions.

Research for this chapter incorporated literature reviews, surveys of accredited Bulgarian LIS programs, interviews with Bulgarian and American LIS professionals, and bibliometric analysis of Bulgarian publications.


Nikolova-Houston, T. (2009), "Bulgarian librarianship: Surviving change through international cooperation", Graves, W., Nyce, J.M., Golden, J. and Williams, D.E. (Ed.) Advances in Library Administration and Organization (Advances in Library Administration and Organization, Vol. 27), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 49-71.



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