Botev's notebook in digital format

Explore Botev's notebook through the power of new technologies!

Part of Bulgaria's literary heritage is now accessible to the general public through the power of new technologies. The modest notebook with black covers, which is kept in the vaults of the Bulgarian National Bank, is also issued in a boutique version - in a luxurious box with a mini-book and a flash memory. The electronic medium also contains 20 poems by Hristo Botev, such as "Hadji Dimitar", "Fight" and "My prayer" are also published in English. The digitized copy is accompanied by a bilingual booklet with biographical data, documents related to Botev's life, as well as his poems. The luxury edition of Hristo Botev's pocket notebook is a joint project of the National Library "St. St. Cyril and Methodiy" and the Regional Library in Vratsa on the occasion of the 170th anniversary of the birth of the revolutionary poet. It can be said that his personal notebook is also one of the most valuable documents related to the life of Hristo Botev. It measures 9 by 13.5 cm and has 87 pages. It is interesting that Hristo Botev made entries in his personal notebook from mid-1875 to May 1876. This is one year, the most dramatic, of his life, which in a peculiar way is also reflected in this notebook.

In it we can find the most diverse information - names of various of our revivalist and revolutionary figures from the 19th century, we can see a draft or a handwritten version of the poem "The Hanging of Vasil Levski", which is significantly different from the later version we know of the work. One of the few, if not the only, documentary evidence of how Hristo Botev edited his texts to perfection. In it, we can also find names of chetniks and candidate chetniks, that is, people who have expressed a desire to participate in a chetnik and those who actually took part. These are pages 29 to 86, in which about 200 names of these associates of his are recorded. The notebook also has accounts related to his personal expenses. On one of the pages you can also see a recording of an Arabic proverb that made a strong impression on him: "Love the one that truly loves you, even though it is on the lowest rung. Do not love him who does not love you, even if he is a sultan in Egypt." Only this saying appears on the page, which expands our idea of Hristo Botev's personality - what impresses him, what occupies his mind and is somehow recorded and stored in the personal notebook.

The fate of the document itself is also interesting. Botev carries it all the time, it is with him even on the Radetsky ship. The last entry is on 17 May 1876, the day the squadron captured the ship. Hristo Botev knew very well what information was in the notebook and what kind of trouble it would bring not only to him, but also to the squad if caught. Therefore, he handed it, along with several other personal documents, to his colleague Dimitar Gorov, who traveled with him, but got off one stop earlier - at the port of Becket. It is assumed that it was then handed over to Todor Peev, our Renaissance revolutionary activist and scientist. He kept it in his personal archive until his death in 1904. Until the 1940s, no one suspected the existence of the notebook, until the great Bulgarian writer Nikola Danchov discovered it in his archive, which he reported in an article in the "Zora" newspaper from 1940, "Some Unknown Botevi Relics". For decades, this document remained unknown to researchers and the general public. In 1948, it became part of the Bulgarian historical archive of the National Library in Sofia and is stored in the vault of the Bulgarian National Bank.

The digitized notebook is available on the official websites of the National Library "St. St. Cyril and Methodiy" and "Hristo Botev" Regional Library - Vratsa.


Share this landmark with friends


What are you looking for?

Don't forget to visit: