News & Upcoming Events
OCTOBER 7th, 2016
It is our great pride to announce that work has commenced at the Albright on several projects that will benefit our program and mission for years to come. Thanks to the generous gift of Trustee Bjorn Lindgren and his wife Beverly, we will be adding 3,600 square feet of space with the reacquisition of the Director’s House, as well as making improvements to the quality of life in the residence facility. These projects mark the first phase of a year-long campaign to make major headway on upgrading the Albright’s facilities.
For 30 years, the southern building of the Albright facility has been rented out for supplementary income. Known as the “Director’s House” (DH), it had been home to the institute’s directors since opening in 1930. Recovering this building is the beginning of some major improvements to the Albright’s offerings for fellows and the greater community of scholars that we serve. The building is in excellent condition and is essentially ready for use, with a few infrastructure fixes. It is a beautiful, romantic building, with a grand stone entrance, art deco tiled balconies, arched doorways, high ceilings, and a working fireplace. The spacious lower level will be converted to our new Event Space, including lecture and conference facilities, as well as a reception area, and , increasing our entertaining and programing capacity threefold. Apartments will comprise the upper floor.
The Albright Institute now needs the help of our loyal Alumni and long-time friends to fund the remainder of the project. The first phase as detailed above is already totally funded by the Lindgrens. Their generosity has jump-started this entire campaign and put all the dreaming and planning into action. All the new upgraded space means we need furniture and other functional items to fill it and get it ready for our programming. The “Director’s House Challenge” will hopefully get us there!
We and the Lindgrens invite all those who support our mission to give, with the goal of matching their major gift. A range of small gifts at your level of ability will help us reach this amount. Can you give $30? We need your gift! The Albright, under one name or another, has been in Jerusalem for 116 years, through three different regimes. It is striking to think how many people have passed through the gates. It is the place where the Dead Sea Scrolls were viewed for the first time, where monks are buried in the yard; and the Third Wall of Jerusalem runs under the lawn.
The Albright is unique in Jerusalem. The property and building were dedicated for an American archaeology institute, and is one of the only buildings in Jerusalem of a similar age that has had the same purpose and function from inception to the present. We feel a tremendous responsibility towards preserving our longevity and to caring for the facility and property. These projects help to ensure that we bring the Albright into its future. By making them a priority, we ensure many more years of excellence in carrying out our mission to engage in and facilitate research on the history and cultures of the Near East, to document and preserve evidence from the ancient world as a cultural resource, and to educate the public about the history and cultures of the region.
by Sarah Fairman SEPTEMBER 20, 2016
The fellows have arrived in Jerusalem at the Albright Institute for the Fall 2016 semester. With their orientation last Thursday with the director, the programming year has officially begun. In the first weeks, the fellows will visit other area institutions, including the École Biblique et Archéologique Française and the Rockefeller Museum, Archives, and Library. The program of field trips will begin in October with a visit to Megiddo and other sites in the Jezreel Valley, also known as Marj Ibn Amer.
The fall fellows have traveled here by plane, perhaps with a layover or two, from the United States, China, Germany, and the United Kingdom.
In 1907, how did the appointees get to Jerusalem? It was the year that the permit or firman was finally granted by the Ottoman government for the establishment of an American institute in the Turkish Empire, and seven years after Charles C. Torrey, the first resident director at the Jerusalem School stopped in Constantinople en route to Jerusalem for his first (unsuccessful) attempt to secure the firman (King 1983: 29). And it was one year before a large plot of land would be purchased as a permanent location for the institute (King 1983: 43), the same plot where the Albright Institute is located today.
A handwritten and unpublished trips journal from the academic year of 1907-1908 tells us about those long journeys to reach the institute. The record keeper writes of the director at the time, Francis Brown and the students traveling for a month just to arrive in Jerusalem. This very same week, 109 years ago, the director was climbing Mt. Hermon en route to Jerusalem. From an entry dated October 3rd, 1907, the record keeper tells us:
“Professor Francis Brown, the director, arrived in Beirut on July 30th, travelling by way of Constantinople. On August 2nd he went to ‘Aleih, departing thence for Shumlan on the 10th. At Shumlan he remained till September 23rd, with the exception of the days September 11th to 20th, which days were devoted to an ascent of Mt. Hermon.”
Following Shumlan, the record keeper tells us that Brown met three students in Beirut: Benjamin Willard Robinson, Thayer Fellow, 1907-1908; Harold Harrison Tryon, Fellow of Union Theological Seminary, 1906-1908; and Murray Scott Frame, Fellow of Union Theological Seminary, 1907-1909. From there, the director seems to have continued his journey to Jerusalem alone, with the students left to their own devices, traveling via train, boat, and finally horseback:
“On the 25th of September the director set forth by carriage to Sidon, continuing his journey thence on horseback along the coast to Jaffa. He arrived in Jaffa on October 1st, and in Jerusalem on October 2nd. On the 25th of September Messrs. Robinson, Tryon, and Frame started for Jerusalem by way of Damascus. Their journey as far as Samakh was by rail. They arrived in Baalbek on the 25th, in Damascus on the 26th, and in Samakh on the 29th. From Samakh they took boat to Tiberias where they spent the night of the 29th. They rode from Tiberias to Nazareth by way of Mt. Tabor on September 30th. At Nazareth horses were secured for the three days ride to Jerusalem. They arrived in Jenin on October 1st, in Nablus, by way of Sebastiyeh, on the 2nd, and in Jerusalem on the 3rd.”
After such arduous journeys, “[t]he first days in Jerusalem were devoted chiefly to recuperating from the journey, to correspondence, and to desultory walks.”
We will follow this cast of characters throughout the year, including their camps, wadi crossings, and encounters in a land that was vastly different than the 2016 fellows will experience it today. We have been working on the program of field trips, conferences, and workshops and will publish it online shortly, and we look forward to seeing both familiar and new faces as the programming year begins!
King, Philip J. American Archaeology in the Mideast: A History of the American Schools of Oriental Research. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 1983.
The W. F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research (AIAR)
The W. F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research-AIAR-was founded in 1900, as the American School of Oriental Research in Jerusalem. Its current mission is to develop and disseminate scholarly knowledge of the literature, history, and culture of the Near East, as well as the study of civilization from pre-history to the early Islamic period.
Located in an historic 1920’s-period building, now a Jerusalem landmark, the Albright maintains residential and research facilities including a 35,000 volume library, publication offices, and archaeological workshops. Annually, 65 fellows from diverse national, ethnic, and religious backgrounds, and including Israeli and Palestinians participate in AIAR’s international fellowship program. It offers a unique opportunity for interaction and the exchange of information and ideas, and promotes intellectual integrity and respect in a friendly and convivial atmosphere. This environment is not duplicated in any other similar institution in the region.
The Institute provides support for North American archaeological excavations and surveys; it also promotes working relationships with other local and foreign institutions in Israel and fosters friendly interaction with the neighboring community.
The Albright Institute provides up to $325,000 in fellowships and special awards each year for senior, post-doctoral, doctoral, and independent scholars. These include the prestigious Seymour Gitin Distinguished Professorship, Ernest S. Frerichs Annual Professorship, National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowships, Educational and Cultural Affairs Fellowships, Marcia and Oded Borowski Research Fellowship, Lydie T. Shufro Summer Research Fellowship, Noble Group Fellowships for Chinese Scholars, Glassman Holland Research Fellowship for European Scholars, George A. Barton Fellowship, Carol and Eric Meyers Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship, and Associate Fellowships.
The Ernest S. Frerichs Program for Albright Fellows
For the past 35 years the Albright Institute has developed and expanded a unique international Fellowship program opened to scholars involved in Near Eastern studies, from prehistory to the early Islamic period. Currently 64 Fellows participate in this program annually. They come from diverse cultural, ethnic, religious and political backgrounds from all over the world, including Israel and the Palestinian Authority. All work together, exchanging information and ideas in a convivial and friendly atmosphere that promotes intellectual integrity and respect, and is not duplicated in any other institution in the region.