This article is devoted to the memory of Yuri Ivanovich Venelin (1802-1839) who was an outstanding historian, philologist, folklorist, ethnographer and inspirer of the Bulgarian fight for liberty. The year 2017 is the 215th anniversary of his birth. He was the founder of the Slavic studies, made science expeditions to Balkans and collected rich folk, language and historical material; however, his scientific works have not been studied deeply. Venelin collected the first anthology of ancient Slavic manuscripts (Walachian and Bulgarian) manuscripts (there is a full list of manuscripts in the article), but these manuscripts have not been analysed and published (the is kept in the Russian State Library in Moscow). He published the first grammar book of the Bulgarian language and published the first book about the history of Bulgarians. Venelin proved the theory of relative links the Bulgarian people and Slavs, and he was ideological inspirer of Bulgarians during their fight against Turkish occupation. He wrote the first program of teaching Slavic studies for universities in Europe. He proved that Varangians were not Scandinavians but they were Rus’ people. Unfortunately, few scientists have explored Venelin’s rich scientific heritage. © 2017, Institute of Slovenian Ethnology ZRC SAZU. All rights reserved.