The Department conducts research in onomastics studying toponyms, oykonyms, hydronyms, anthroponyms, urban place names, etc.
The work at the Department is focused on studying the development of names in synchrony and diachrony and the problems of their standardisation in Bulgaria. Besides the practical importance, the study of local and personal names has cultural significance as well.
The study of microtoponyms (local names) is historically significant as it reveals the ethnic and cultural layers in a given area through the traces of processes of settlement and displacement, material and spiritual culture, and allows conclusions on the ethnogenesis of the people.
The Department compiled an Electronic Dictionary: A Reference Guide to Macrotoponyms in Bulgaria, and works on an electronic corpus (and archive) of Bulgarian microtoponims from Western Bulgaria. An Electronic Dictionary of personal names has been compiled as well, containing names from the major cities of Bulgaria from 2007 to the present day. The efforts for the preservation of the Bulgarian toponymy and anthroponymy supports not only the Bulgarian cultural and historical heritage but also the integration into the Slavic and European culture and history. Members of the Department are among the authors of the Bibliography of Bulgarian Onomastics that includes papers and articles by 1,120 Bulgarian and foreign scholars for the period between 1971 to 1980.
The Department offers services such as consultations (including in written form) about toponyms, hydronyms, anthroponyms and urban place names; certification of the origin and the meaning of personal, family and kin names; lectures, courses.