The W. F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research in Jerusalem (AIAR) was originally established as the principal overseas center of the American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR), founded in 1900. In 1970, AIAR was incorporated as an independent institution and renamed after its most distinguished director, W. F. Albright. Since then, AIAR, one of ASOR’s three affiliated centers, has continued the American Schools’ tradition of promoting and supporting resident doctoral and post-doctoral research in Near Eastern studies from pre-history through the early Islamic period in archaeology, anthropology, art history, Bible, epigraphy, historical geography, history, language, literature, philology, and religion and related disciplines.
The Albright Institute, located near the Old City of Jerusalem, includes a research library, workshops, computer facilities, and a residence with a hostel and apartments. The living accommodations provide rooms for thirty people, a served dinner, self-service breakfast, and a garden area for tea and coffee, which is also used for receptions. The library, dedicated to ancient Near Eastern studies, contains more than 30,000 volumes, journal titles, and significant map and artifact collections. In addition to administrative and library computers, the fellows have access to a wide range of hardware and software programs, and the hostel rooms are wired for web access and E-mail communications.
The Albright’s annual program is composed of a series of more than 85 lectures, reports, seminars, workshops, field trips, and social events organized according to its fellows’ interests. More than sixty fellows from the United States, Europe, and around the world—as well as those from the Israeli and Palestinian academic communities—participate mainly as long-term research appointees. AIAR also serves as a support base for numerous short-term scholars and visitors and for a large number of staff, student, and volunteer participants in the twenty-four annual excavation and publication projects affiliated with ASOR.
AIAR conducts, with the Hebrew University, a joint excavation and publication project on the Philistine site of Tel Miqne-Ekron. It is also the organizing institution for an international research project, The Neo-Assyrian Empire in the 7th Century BC: A Study of the Interaction between Center and Periphery. This project, under the aegis of the Council of American Overseas Research Centers (CAORC), involves 50 scholars working in Bahrain, Cyprus, Egypt, Greece, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Spain, Syria, Tunisia, and Turkey. The Albright annually awards up to three NEH fellowships, for periods ranging from four to twelve months, with a maximum grant of $50,400 for 12 months and $18,900 for 4.5 months.