Text: Magdalena Gigova
Madrid’s Complutense University donated 2,076 volumes of scientific, fiction, and reference literature in Spanish on the occasion of the 1,300th anniversary of the establishment of the Bulgarian state.
The Spanish National Jubilee Committee for the celebration of this notable date handed over the titles through Acad. Emilio Sáez. In 1981, he relied on the authority of the ‘13 Centuries of Bulgaria’ National Endowment Fund so that the books would reach those to whom they would be necessary and of benefit.
The donation was valued at BGN 5,942, an amount for which an apartment could be purchased back in the 1980s.
The then Minister of Education, Prof. Alexander Fol, and the Rector of St Kliment Ohridski Sofia University, Acad. Georgi Bliznakov, were present for the delivery of the books.
On 20 January 1982, NEF ‘13 Centuries of Bulgaria’, as the guarantor of the observance of the donor’s will, directed the volumes to the Department of Spanish Philology at Sofia University, the library of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences and the Sts Cyril and Methodius National Library.
The Complutense University of Madrid is an educational institution with a remarkable history. In the 13th century, King Sancho IV the Brave, ruler of Castile and Leόn, and Archbishop Gonzalo García Gudiel founded the Estudio de Escuelas Generales de Alcalá. The first university building was constructed in 1510.
In that academic year, the first departments of arts and philosophy, theology, law, philology and medicine opened.
In 1775, a botanical garden was established at the university and, in 1790, an observatory was completed.
The valuable and useful reading materials for students and scholars are a real treasure for academic libraries in Bulgaria.
Facts about 40 of the brightest and most memorable donations will be presented in a special publication marking the 40th anniversary of NEF ‘13 Centuries of Bulgaria’, which we celebrate in 2021.