Bulgarian Protestant Heritage

November 30, 2006 by  
Filed under Research

After presenting at the ETS annual meeting in Washington, D.C. our ministry agenda took us to the great state of Illinois. We were due for a brief research visit at the library of the University of Illinois in Champaign. As one of the top public libraries in the United States, it has archived a large number of volumes related to the Bulgarian history. Once a visitor is allowed to “the stacks,” hundreds of thousand of volumes in the ten story building begin to tell the story of the centuries.

Of a greater interest among them were publications related to Bulgaria’s national renaissance of the 1800s. Many of the items in the library’s catalogue are extremely difficult to find in “the stacks.” Some of them are misfiled; others have not been checked out for decades and have not even received a barcode according to the new standard. Some, many of which in leaf format, have been purchased by the university’s Slavic Research Center and stored with virtually no catalog information.

Some Bulgarian Protestant publications like the Luboslovie journal (1844) and Zornitza (both newspaper and magazine editions) are carefully stored there. Along with them there are various protocols and papers related to the missionary school in Samokov, partial editions of prof. Shishamnov’s studies, 1940s audits of the American College in Sofia, a 1897 Bulgarian almanac, several copies of the almanac published by Bulgarian immigrants in the United States in the 1920s, the Robert’s College Herald, books about and by Riggs, Haskell, Fotinov, McGeehan and much more.

We were able to sort through the items described in the catalogue, check out and scan as many as possible during our short visit. We are hoping to be able to publish them very soon at the Protestantstvoto.com website which we have created as a center for research of Bulgarian Protestant heritage.