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The Department of Numismatics and Epigraphy was established in 1956 after the Institute of Archaeology and the Museum of Archaeology was incorporated within the BAS system in 1951. A specific feature of the Department from the very beginning was that it was constituted as an interdepartmental link. Members of the Department became not only full time employees at the Institute of Archaeology and Museum, epigraphists and numismatists, but also specialists working in related institutions. The first members of the section later became world famous scientists: the corresponding member at BAS Prof. V. Beshevliev, Prof. T. Gerasimov, Prof. I. Venedikov, Senior Research Fellow Y. Mladenova; specialist from St. Kliment Ohridski University, Sofia – Prof. B. Gerov, Prof. G. Mihaylov and Doc. T. Sarafov; specialist from the Institute on Bulgarian Language – BAS – Academician Prof. V. Georgiev and Prof. I. Galabov from the Museum of History in Burgas.
With view to the fact that the epigraphic research dominated the activity of the Department, it was initially called Department of Epigraphy and Numismatics but in 1972 it was renamed to Department of Numismatics and Epigraphy.
Heads of this significant department were leading specialists in the field. The first one was the corresponding member at BAS Prof. Vesselin Beshevliev, an epigraphist who focused his research activity on the Roman, Christian and Old Bulgarian epigraphy. He was head of the Department until he started work in the newly established Institute on Balkan Studies in 1964. In 1964 Prof. Todor Gerasimov, an outstanding numismatist, an honorary and active member of a number of foreign numismatic societies, became head of the Department. In 1972 he retired and a new head of the Department was appointed - Prof. Velizar Velkov, a world famous epigraphist, a winner of the prestigious international Herder Award, a deputy director of the Institute of Archaeology and Museum. After he was appointed for director of the Institute of Archaeology and Museum, Prof. Yordanka Yurukova, a numismatist, a student of Prof. T. Gerasimov became head of the Department. Similarly to her tutor, she was a winner of a number of prestigious scientific awards and was a member of world scientific organizations and societies. After she was appointed for director of the Institute of Archaeology and Museum in 1993, Prof. Vassilka Gerasimova became the next head of the Department. An outstanding epigraphist of the Greek and Roman period, a student of Prof. V. Beshevliev and Prof. B. Gerov, she was also a winner of the Herder Award.
A specific feature of the Department is that its members, who are outstanding specialists in their fields, are also responsible for certain parts of the rich collections of the Museum. Responsible for the epigraphic stone monuments were Prof. I. Venedikov, Senior Research Fellow Yanka Mladenova and Prof. Vassilka Gerasimova. Prof. T. Gerasimov, Prof. Y. Yurukova and the members of the Department Research Fellow Ginka Katsarova and Dr. Sesilia Dimitrova were responsible for the numismatic collections. Currently the numismatic collections are kept by Senior Research Fellow Dr. Dochka Vladimirova-Aladzhova, Senior Research Fellow Dr. Bistra Bozhkova and Senior Research Fellow Dr. Boryana Ruseva.