SPECIAL COLLECTIONS DEPARTMENT
With its creation the library began to collect handwritten books, Bulgarian historical archive, Bulgarian Revival literature, rare and valuable publications, portraits and photographs, and since 1949 the collections are formed in a separate department.
* Manuscripts – The collection includes Slavonic, Greek, Ottoman and Persian manuscripts of parchment and paper from the XI–XIX century. The collection of Slavonic manuscripts preserves the most precious and valuable Medieval literary monuments known in the scientific world, such as the Kyustendil palimpsest, the end of the XII century, the Slepchen apostle (fragment), the second half of the XII century, the Kitevski triod, the second half of the XIII century, the prayer-book of Daniel Etropolski , 1592, Pop Yovkov pentistostar from 1636, Plovdiv collection, first half of the XV century, Smyrna damaskin, first half of the XVII century, etc. The manuscripts of the XVII century – Markovsky Psaltir, 1638, Pop Avramov Minei, 1660 and Pop Avramov's Repertory, 1674, the official menayons for May, June and September of Krastyo Gramatik and so on.
* Bulgarian Historical Archive – The Bulgarian historical archive in the Plovdiv National Library is a unique archival richness. The archival documents are valuable not only for studies and research on the past of Plovdiv and the Plovdiv region but also have a nationwide value, revealing interesting moments from the political, economic and cultural development of Bulgaria. The documents cover the period from the XVII to the XX centuries, the most numerous being from the second half of the XIX century – the time of the active national church struggle in which the city of Plovdiv, after Constantinople, played the most significant role. The conserved archival funds are mostly personal and only a small part of them are form institutions, institutes and organizations. Here are the archives of prominent political, economic and cultural figures from the Bulgarian Revival, as well as remarkable public figures, writers and cultural figures after the Liberation. The archives of over 50 prominent personalities of national and local significance are preserved in the BHA, among which Nikolay Pavlovich, Yoakim Gruev, Georgi Gruev, Lady Emily Strangford, Branislav Veleshki, Agushevi Fund, Dr. Stoyan Chomakov, Lyuben Karageelov, Dragan Tsankov, Dimitar Dushanov, Russian Temporary Management (1877–1879), East Rumelia (1879–1885), Stoyu Shishkov, Dimitar Agura, Konstantin Velichkov, Nikolay Raynov, Ivan Vazov, Geo Milev, Yordan Yovkov, etc.
* Bulgarian Revival literature – counts over 3500 volumes in chronological limits 1806–1878. Among them are: “Kiriakodromyon aka Nedelnik of Sofronii Vrachanski” (1806), “Literature with different teachings” by Dr. Petar Beron (1824), “Bulgarian Grammar” by Neofit Rilski (1835) and many others, as well as the periodicals “Bulgarian Eagle”, “Nezavisimost”, “Zname”, “Svoboda”, “Tsarigradski vestnik”, “Lyuboslovie” and many others.
* Rare and valuable editions – most of these editions are unique. The collection presents paleootypes, Slavic first printed publications and the first printed books in the Bulgarian language from the XVI to the end of the XVIII century, the first editions of the classics of Bulgarian and foreign literature, first translations, books with ancient and original cover and specially printed with an unusual format. Here are: Strabon's Geography (Venice, 1516), Christopher Zhefarovich's Stemmography (1741), Jean Jacques Rousseau's Music Dictionary (1768), The Encyclopedia of Didero d'Alamber (1778–1779), collection “Engravings, art prints and lithographs”, etc.
* Portraits and Photos – an interesting and meaningful collection of about 4,000 photographs and postcards of faces, events, and sites of exceptional historic importance. Photographic documents with different genre features – face portrait, group portrait, photo of an event and photo of an object are present in the fund. The portraits of persons form a major part of the fund, including single and unique portraits of Bulgarian Revival figures, religious leaders, statesmen, politicians, monarchs, military, revolutionaries and civilians, connected with Bulgarian history (Vasil Levski, Joakim Gruev, Gerov, Lyuben Karavelov, Zahari Stoyanov, NFV Ferdinand, NCB Boris III). There are also portraits of foreign military officials, diplomats, monarchs, scholars and heads of state, such as the Ottoman sultans Murad V, Abdul Aziz, Abdul Medjid, the first Greek King and Bavarian Prince Oton I, Russian imperial generals and governors, monarchs and military personnel
In 2018, the specialized reading room № 5 of the Special Collections Department took the name “Boris Djakovich” on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the birth of the creator of the department Boris Diakovic (1868–1937).