Antarctic Place-names Commission

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Bulgaria in Antarctica
Bulgarian Antarctic Institute
National Centre of Polar Research
St. Kliment Ohridski Base
St. Ivan Rilski Chapel
Camp Academia
Tangra 2004/05
Bulgarian toponyms in Antarctica
Antarctic Place-names Commission
Military Geographic Service
H.H. Benedict XVI presented with the 2005 Bulgarian map of Livingston Island
Field work for the Commission
Topographic marker used by the Commission
A stamp commemorating the Tenth Anniversary of Bulgarian Antarctic cartography in the service of the Commission

The Antarctic Place-names Commission was established by the Bulgarian Antarctic Institute in 1994, and since 2001 has been a body affiliated to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria.

The Commission approves Bulgarian place names in Antarctica, which are formally given by the President of the Republic according to the Bulgarian Constitution (Art. 98) and the established international practice.

Bulgarian names in Antarctica[edit]

Geographical names in Antarctica reflect the history and practice of Antarctic exploration. The nations involved in Antarctic research give new names to nameless geographical features for the purposes of orientation, logistics, and international scientific cooperation. As of 2013, there are some 19,000 named Antarctic geographical features, including 956 features with names given by Bulgaria. Since the Bulgarian Antarctic base is situated in the South Shetland Islands, most of the Bulgarian place names are concentrated in that area too, especially on Livingston Island, Greenwich Island, Robert Island, Snow Island, and Smith Island. However, two early Bulgarian names were given even in 1989 (by the then State Council, a collegial presidency) to geographical features on Alexander Island in relation to field work carried out on that island by the first Bulgarian Antarctic expedition during the 1987/88 season.

Toponymic guidelines[edit]

In 1995 the Commission developed its own Toponymic Guidelines defining the relevant types of geographical features, specific elements of geographical names, inappropriate names, criteria of names approval, language and spelling, and names approval procedures. In particular, the Guidelines introduced the Streamlined System that was subsequently adopted as the official national system for the Romanization of Bulgarian, eventually becoming part of Bulgarian law by way of the 2009 Transliteration Law.[1]

Surveys and mapping[edit]

The work of the Commission is supported by geographical information and mapping resulting from topographic surveys in Antarctica, such as the 1995/96 survey in Livingston Island, and the topographic survey Tangra 2004/05. The Commission published the first Bulgarian topographic map of Livingston Island and Greenwich Island in 2005, and jointly with the Military Topographic Service of the Bulgarian Army, the first detailed topographic map of Smith Island in 2008.

International cooperation[edit]

The Antarctic Place-names Commission cooperates with other national authorities for Antarctic place names, and with the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR). Details of the Bulgarian Antarctic toponyms are published by the Commission’s website, and also by the international Composite Gazetteer of Antarctica maintained by SCAR.

Antarctic names in Bulgaria[edit]

In order to promote Antarctic exploration and the presence of Bulgaria in Antarctica, the Commission encourages Bulgarian municipalities to give relevant Antarctic names to public places. Several squares and streets in Bulgarian settlements are named after Livingston Island, such as Livingston Island Square in Samuil and Kula; Livingston Island Street in Gotse Delchev, Yambol, Petrich, Sofia, Lovech and Vidin;[2][3][4][5] and Antarctica Street in Dzhebel.[6]

See also[edit]



External links[edit]