Colonel Darvingov and photographer Aleksandar Bozhinov lived through the Balkan wars and the First World War. During the wars, they collected photographs and illustrations of the daily life in the Balkans. The collections are held in the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, and they are in need of preservation.
The Scientific Archive of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences is the oldest national archival institution in Bulgaria. The archive, among other things, contains two photographic collections related to wars in the Balkans. The first is the collection of Colonel Petar Darvingov, a senior officer and Chief of Staff of the Bulgarian Army, commander of the occupation corps in Moravia. He created a great number of photos from different fronts and depicting the military life. The second collection was created by photographer Aleksandar Bozhinov, who was a war correspondent during WWI. He collected images and illustrations from the front, as well as documenting social life in the Balkan villages and towns in the time of war.
The collections needed special attention due to the poor condition in which they arrived to the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences more than 50 years ago. The physical condition of the materials puts them at risk, and their great historical value requires urgent preservation so that they will not be irretrievably lost.
The project digitised over 5,000 images. The materials were relocated to a more suitable, climate controlled storage. The project trained the staff of the archive, who gained significant IT skills.