Library of Books and Periodicals
The BMNECC library houses over 5,000 items, including books, journals, and magazines – most of which were donated by individuals and organizations. Scholars, students, researchers and folklore enthusiasts are welcome to visit the Center to peruse these collections. Literary subjects include history, ethnography, musicology, art, culture and geography. Language books for children and teens are also included, and are used in the children’s culture program.
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Audio Collection
Thanks in large part to the efforts of BMNECC Executive Director Walter Kolar, a world-renowned folk musicologist, the Center has long maintained an excellent collection of old, rare recordings of Bulgarian, Macedonian and other ethnic music. The collection includes hundreds of vinyl LPs, reel-to-reel tapes, cassettes, and CDs. A number of old analog tapes contain rare recordings of Bulgarian radio shows are also housed in this collection.
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Historical Archives
The Center’s archives represent a rich repository of historic documents dating to the earliest days of the Bulgaro-Macedonian Beneficial Association (BMBA). We have retained nearly all information related to the organization since its inception – including minutes from board meetings, event programs, brochures, newsletters, news clippings, building blueprints, legal documents, and member information. Through the years, the descendents of early members and other individuals have donated valuable documents to the archives – some dating back to 1910.
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Film and Video
The Center houses a large collection of 35mm, 16mm and 8mm films, plus an assortment of videotapes, DVDs and CD-ROMs. The most impressive part of this collection is a set of 238 35mm films that the Bulgarian Embassy in Washington, D.C. donated to the Center in 2007. Many of these are full-length feature films, while others are documentaries on Bulgarian culture, dance, art, and history. Some of these films may no longer exist in post-Communist Bulgaria, and are therefore considered one-of-a-kind and quite valuable.
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Through the years, the Center has become a repository for thousands of images, including large photo collections donated by members’ families. Many of the oldest photos feature group portraits of the organization’s founders and early directors, Bulgarian-owned bakeries, our earliest meeting place (the old Markoff Building), members of the Ladies Club Star, and early dance and Folk Festival performances.
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