• About the Archive
  • Our mission

Our mission

 Throughout the 20th century the Balkan peninsula has experienced many wars and political transformations. The border changes after the World War I and the socialist collectivization of agriculture after the World War II caused deep transofrmations in traditional transhumance patterns related to the seasonal movement of people with their livestock between higher pastures in summer and lower valleys in winter. Many of these traditions, cultivated in the Balkans for thousands of years, have been irretrievably lost.

 We have photos related to the transumance practices, social structure and the livelihood of the population on the Balkans, dating from about 100 years ago. They give valuable information about the traditional culture before the deep transformations of the 20th century. Photos are a rich source of knowledge which otherwise would be hard to explain in a textual form. Organizing, archiving and ensuring access to this photographic material will not only contribute to development of scientific research in this field, but will also be useful to anyone who is interested in the traditional culture, history and livelihood of the population on the Balkans

 For this purpose, we have created a digital archive of photos with annotations in English, Japanese and Bulgarian languages. They comprise a wide range of topics related to the life of the Balkan population – livestock management, food culture, clothing, housing, festivals, etc. We hope that this digital archive will be useful to anyone interested in traditional culture on the Balkans. Our sincere desire is to constantly update and improve this archive, so we would like to ask anyone who has some photos to share them with us. You are also welcome to contact us if you are willing to work together with us for the protection of this cultural heritage.

 This digital archive was created under the Project “Study of traditional pastoralism in the Southern Balkan peninsula and digitalization of archival photos before the modernization” supported by Mitsubishi Foundation, Japan. From 2014 to 2017, for three years, two Bulgarian and Japanese research teams worked together on the project. We would like to express our deep gratitude to Mitsubishi Foundation and all the people who supported us.

Representative of the Bulgarian team
Svetla Rakshieva

Representative of the Japanese team
Obihiro University
Masahiro Hirata