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History Overview

The history of the museum starts in the middle of the XIX century, when various prominent figures from the Bulgarian Revival period did the first successful steps to research the past of Kyustendil and the region, to collect and archive precious archeological, ethnographic and folklore materials. Among the most famous figures are Georgi Angelov Drumoharski, Peter Tsvetanov Lyubenov, Efrem Karanov, Stoyan Zaimov, Zinovi Poppetrov, Georgi Kolushki and Michail Georgiev-Makedonski.

At the beginning of the XX century Yordan Ivanov launched archeological researches near the village of Nevestino, the area of Moshteni (1904- 1906) and Hissurluka (1906- 1912). Professor Gavril Katsarov conducted a research on the excavations of the sanctuary near the village of Kopilovtsi (1911- 1912).

The researches and publications of Konstantin Irechek, academician Yordan Ivanov, Efrem Karanov, corresponding member Yordan Zahariev, and others, contributed to the development of the museum works and the establishment of the museum institution in Kyustendil at the beginning of XX century.

The first museum in the town, which was endorsed by the Ministry of Education and Culture (prescript 17323), was set up on 3 November 1987. It is the first museum in southwestern Bulgaria and the third school museum in the country after the school museums of Aprilovska High School in Gabrovo and Starazagora mens three-grade school.

At the end of 1907 the museum regulations of the Bratstvo community center were endorsed. The museum, which was second in the town, opened doors on 1 January 1908. Georgi Zlatevski was the first manager of the museum. The museum founders and the managers set a goal to establish a regional museum functioning as a public institution. At first the museum planned to have several divisions: community center affairs, living standards, houses and household appliances, occupations, national costumes, communication and trade, history and archeology, geography, animals and minerals.

On August 6 1944 the school museum turned into a town museum with a gallery. In 1960 it became a county historical museum. Since 1992 it has been named after the renowned scientist Yordan Ivanov. In 2000, with a decree number 153 from 28 July 2000 issued by the Council of Ministers, the museum was transformed in a regional historical museum with headquarters in Kyustendil. Its role was to promote cultural and education activities on the territories of Kyustendil, Pernik, Blagoevgrad.

The Kyustendil museum has collections regarding general history and has the following divisions: Archeology, Numismatics, Ethnology, Folklore, Bulgarian History (XV-XIX century), Contemporary History, Cultural Monuments, Library, Scientific Archive, Conservation and Restoration studios, Photographic studio, and Publishing group.

A total of 33 people work at the museum, 25 of which are experts. There is a team of scientists 1 senior research associate of second degree, 2 research associates of second degree, 3 research associates of third degree.

The major objective of the museum is collection, documentation, preservation, research and popularization of the cultural monuments in Kyustendil region.

The museum has over 100,000 exhibits. Among the major collections are prehistoric utensils and idol sculptures, unique finds from Thracian mound funerals, collection of ancient bronze and marble sculptures, ornaments, numismatics collection, traditional costumes and textile, prints, handwritten and old printed books.

The museum has four permanent expositions: archeological, national liberation fights (XVIII-XIX century), ethnographic (Town lifestyle at the end of XIX century and the beginning of XX century), the house-museum Dimitur Peshev- an exposition on the saving of the Bulgarian Jews.

The museum had individual exhibitions in Germany, Hungary, Poland, Serbia, etc, and together with other Bulgarian museums it held exhibitions in Japan, USA, Belgium, Finland and others.

Since 1989 the Historical Museum of Kyustendil has had own printed editions- a bulletin of the Historical Museum, Studies conducted by the team of scientists at the Museum. The Museum has organized four international science symposia in honour of academician Yordan Ivanov (1992), corresponding member Yordan Zahariev (1993), 100th anniversary of the museum (1997) and Pautalia- Velbuzhd- Kyustendil (2003), numerous national conferences and regional science forums. The museum experts are authors of hundreds of monographs, studies and reports, which have been published in Bulgarian and foreign science journals.

The Museum is a founder and member of ICOMOS - International Council on Monuments and Sites for Bulgaria, ICOMON - International Committee for Money and Banking Museums, ICOM- International Council of Museums at UNESCO.

The museum works on joint projects with the Austrian Academy of Sciences, and the Balkan Commission on researching the early Christian monuments of ancient Pautalia. Since 1999 it has collaborated with the Japanese International Cooperation Agency.

The museum experts keep in touch with their counterparts from England, Germany, Greece, Serbia, Macedonia, Switzerland and others.

  1. Grorge Angelov Drumuharski(1843 - 1919)
  2. frem Tsvetkov Karamov(28..1852 - 6.ղ.1927)
  3. Ak. Iordan Ivanov(6..1872 - 29.V.1947)
  4. Musium Collection 1997.
  5. North Macedonia.




Regional Historical Museum Academician Yordan Ivanov, Kyustendil - 2004-2006