The Scientific Archive of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (SA-BAS) aims to find, preserve, scientifically and technically process and put to use materials on the history of scientific thought and social life in Bulgaria and to do expertise on their value. It is, essentially, the first national historical archive to carry out these activities and contains valuable documents on the history of the Bulgarian state and people.
The first steps were made as early as the founding of the Bulgarian Learned Society (BLS) in Braila. One of the Society’s tasks, according to Article 6 of its Statute, has been “to gradually make collections of various old Bulgarian and foreign books, manuscripts, money and other similar valuables that will constitute an old-world cabinet inexcommunicated by the library.”
The newly established learned society was set up on a very broad, democratic, national and at the same time European basis in order to “disseminate the universal enlightenment of the Bulgarian people and to show the way to its material enrichment”.
Since 1994, the Scientific Archive of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences is an independent specialized unit of BAS with a legal entity status. As a management body of the State archives fund on the territory of BAS the Scientific Archive:
- Collects archival documents from the units of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, the personal funds of academicians, corresponding members, professors and associate professors working at the Academy;
- Performs scientific and technical processing, expertise on the value of the archival documents and their restoration;
- Organizes the use of archival documents for research, reference, etc. aims, prepares documentary publications and exhibitions;
- Provides methodological assistance to the units of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences in the work of their records and archives departments.
The scientific archive participates in the international microfilm exchange of archival documents, in the preparation of bilateral and multilateral documentary editions, etc.
In recent years, the SA documents have been actively used by researchers, external readers, mass media and foreigners for references, exhibitions, documentaries, diploma theses, dissertation papers, articles, monographs, scientific reports, and so on.
Branches of the SA have been created at the National Archaeological Institute with Museum – BAS, the Institute of Art Studies (the SA of IAS-BAS), the Institute of Ethnology and Folklore Studies with Ethnographic Museum – BAS.