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Bulgarian Collections in the Library of Congress

Geography and Maps

Central Intelligence Agency. Bulgaria, terrain and transportation. 1958. Library of Congress Geography and Map Division.

Bulgaria is well represented in the Geography & Map Reading Room, which has hundreds of single and set maps, as well as atlases, showing Bulgaria. All of the set maps and atlases for Bulgaria, and about half of the Bulgarian single maps, are cataloged individually and can be identified using the LC online catalog. Approximately three hundred Bulgarian single maps are cataloged at the collection level. These collection level items tend to be older materials. In addition, Bulgaria is represented in single maps showing the Balkan Peninsula, of which there are over four hundred in the Geography & Map collection, half of which are cataloged individually and half of which are cataloged at the collection level.

Interesting examples include an 1837 British Admiralty nautical chart with head views entitled "Gulf of Bourghaz," and an ethnographic map from 1936 depicting by color the distribution of various ethnic groups such as Muslims, Roma, Vlachs, Jews, and Germans in Bulgaria before the Liberation of 1878.

A number of rare maps in the collections depict Bulgaria, the oldest of which is a Ptolemaic map of the Balkan Peninsula, from the 1541 Vienna edition of Tabula noua Graeciae, Sclauoniae, et Bulgariae. Geographia [New Map of the Greeks, Slavs, and Bulgarians. Geography]. From the Muslim world is the Cedid atlas tercümesi [New Atlas] from 1803, an exceedingly rare atlas, published in Istanbul by the Ottoman Military Engineering School Press. It consists of twenty-four maps, one of which is a map of the Balkans showing the boundaries of where the Ottoman, Austrian, and Russian Empires met. The Balkan map is entitled "Map of the Provinces of the Ottoman Empire in Europe" and shows the divided territory of modern Bulgaria.

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About the Geography and Map Division

The Geography and Map Division (G&M) has custody of the largest and most comprehensive cartographic collection in the world with collections numbering over 5 million maps, 100,000 atlases, 8,000 reference works, over 5000 globes and globe gores, 3,000 raised relief models, over 130,000 microfiche/film, and a large number of cartographic materials in other formats.