Алекси Попов [Alexi Popov]
28 February 1989 · volume 1
· pp. 5–13 · PDF [full text]
[no abstract available originally]
[Summary]: The National Natural History Museum was established in 1889. Since 1947 it has been placed under the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. In 1974 it was given the status of a National Museum with the eminent mineralogist Academician Ivan Kostov as Director. This is a period of advancement for the Museum, during which the Geological Department was restored and 9 exhibition halls were opened for the public, 4 for Geological collections and 4 for Zoological collections, as well as a special exhibition hall for Botanical collection. The improvement of the exhibition through innovation and a modern layout and arrangement, as well as new exhibits, enriching existing collections contributed much to the new image of the Museum. At the same time, store rooms and other facilities were added. Thus, the Museum has become the largest of its kind on the Balkans. The permanent exhibits, gathered by specialists of the Museum, and further enriched through donations and exchange of rare samples comprise a wealth of minerals and rocks, as well as a large faunistic collection. The Museum comprises four sections, the Mineralogy Section, the Paleontology Section, the Botany Section and the Zoology Section, with an overall staff of 29, including 10 researchers. Research is currently carried out on systematics of minerals, morphology of crystals, meadow vegetation, faunistics and taxonomy of fossil ammonites and mammals, and recent crustaceans, arachnoids, insects and mammals, and osteology of birds. Several expeditions have been organized by the Museum: a zoological expedition to Mozambique in 1983, an expedition to the Himalayas in 1984, and a Bulgarian-French Paleontological Expedition in Bulgaria in 1985-1987. The Museum has become increasingly popular with the public — 114 419 visitors have seen the Museum in 1985, 25 125 of them from abroad.