The year was 1918. Sofia. Few months after the Sofia University’s Faculty of Medicine was found, the Medical library was also established. The first librarian was Maria Abramovich.
Once the Faculty of Medicine separated from the Sofia University and became an independent institution, the Library also grew into an integral university body.
The library’s collection was initially very modest. It was accumulated mainly by donations, but over time it grew so significantly that the library had to move premises several times until it finely found its present home. In 1978 the Central Medical library settled in the building where you can find it today: at 1 Sv. Geogri Sofiiski Boulevard. The new site is spacious enough to fit the vast library collection and to cater for patrons’ needs.
Today the library collection fills three storage halls, which are equipped with modern compact shelving system. They contain over 334,000 pieces of books, journals, dissertations and other publicationsin either Bulgarian or foreign languages. An automated library information system and electronic catalog are available. A digital institutional archive - repository is created, and includes: books, articles, lectures, dissertations, abstracts and other scientific and educational materials, provided for open access by the University staff or other leading experts in the medical field.
Digitalization of the first and oldest medical publications from the beginning of the 19th century is in progress. Textbooks and student guides are also being digitized. By 2019, 601 old Bulgarian medical journals have been scanned, as well as 2780 books.
There are two reading halls and a computer room with a total of over 100 places for readers. Internet access is provided, as well as remote access to online databases.
A union catalog is prepared annually, in both printed and electronic version. It includes a list of the journals received by the medical libraries in the whole country.
The library’s unique database "Bulgarian Medical Literature" continues to expand ,with an average of 3,500 articles annually. It currently contains over 64,000 documents.
A lists of all new acquisitions is regularly updated on the library’s website.
The library’s "Educational and scientific documentation" department supports University teaching and scientific work by creating a range of materials, including multimedia presentations, posters and other promotional materials. The department is also keeping a photo archive of the University’s historical events and activities.
The department of “Scientific Medical Information”, produces 11 University journals. These are multidisciplinary and specialized scientific medical journals, well known and appreciated by several generations of medical doctors in Bulgaria. Abstracts in both Bulgarian and English are available on the library's website. The department also provides pre-print and editorial services of different types of publications, including a number of journals, issued by Bulgarian medical associations and societies.
When asked “What is a university?””, a famous American journalist once replied “a university is nothing but a group of buildings around a library.”
Video Presentation of the Central Medical Library, MU - Sofia