The History of BAS

from 1878 to 1910


1878, 26-28 November – an Extraordinary General Meeting was held in Braila which took the decision to move the headquarters of BLS to Sofia.

The members of the Bulgarian Learned Society were actively involved in the political and cultural processes of the Principality of Bulgaria.

1882, October – The National Assembly granted an annual subsidy of BGN 12 000 for publishing of the journal and for maintenance of the Society.

In the picture: Announcement for the relocation of BLS from Braila to Sofia, October 14, 1878, Braila


In 1882, the Minister of National Education, Konstantin Jirecek, appointed a Temporary Steering Committee to restore and manage the activities of BLS. The chairman of the committee is Vasil D. Stoyanov. The publishing of the “Periodical Journal of the Bulgarian Learned Society” was resumed. A Regulation for the temporary management of BLS, which was in force until 07.08.1884, was adopted.

On 7 June 1882, BLS addressed Sofia Municipality with a request to provide a site for a building of the Society. This request was satisfied in March 1884, with Sofia City Council, giving a building site to BLS on Tsarigradska Str., with certificate N 833.

The first General Assembly of BLS after the Liberation was convened on 7 August 1884. It adopted a new Statute that established a new structure and a new scientific organization of BLS. Three scientific branches were created: historico-philological, for natural and medical sciences and for state sciences. The scientific management consisted of a president, a vice-president, a secretary, a treasurer and chairpersons of the branches. Professor Marin Drinov was elected President.

In the picture: The mayor of Sofia, N. Suknarov, is informing the Bulgarian Learned Society that the City Municipal Administration was giving ownership to BLS of a site for the construction of a Society building, June 21, 1883, Sofia


The foundation stone of the BLS building was laid on 5 October 1890. On 25 October 1898, the next General Meeting of BLS was held. A permanent council was elected, and Ivan Geshov was elected President. A partial structural change was made, with physical-mathematical sciences joining the branch of natural-medical sciences.

Between 14 November 1899 – 5 December 1900, BLS General Assembly was discussing the new Statute which was adopted on 5 December. On January 12, 1900, the Minister of National Education approved the Statute which was in force until 1911.

In the picture: Act of laying the foundation stone of the building of BLS, 5 October, 1890, Sofia


1901-1903 – A Collection of Folklore, owned by the Ministry of Education, was transferred for publishing by BLS; the Society was then receiving an annual subsidy of BGN 24,000 for the publication of the “Periodical Journal” and “The Collection”.

1906 – Extension of two wings to the building of BLS; the building continued to be leased to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Religions.

1908, January – BLS President, Ivan Evstratiev Geshov, paid with personal funds the mortgage loan of the Society and thus allowed for financial independence and creation of conditions for transformation of the Society into an academy of sciences.

In 1906, the series “Bulgarian starini” (Bulgarian literture, historic and ethnographic finds) was first published.

In 1908, the President of BLS, Ivan Geshov, made a personal donation to the Society of 120 000 golden leva by paying its mortgage debt.

In the picture: BLS building in 1906