W. F. Albright Institute
of Archaeological Research
The W.F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research (AIAR) in Jerusalem is the oldest American research center for ancient Near Eastern studies in the Middle East. Founded in 1900 as the American School of Oriental Research (ASOR), it was renamed in 1970 after its most distinguished director, William Foxwell Albright. Today, the Albright is one of three separately incorporated institutes affiliated with ASOR, the others being in Amman and Nicosia.
The present Albright facility was constructed in 1925, with additions made in 1930 and major renovations completed in 1985 and 2003. Located 500 meters north of the old walled city of Jerusalem, it is within walking distance of the Ecole Biblique, the British, German, Spanish and Swedish Schools of Archaeology, the Hebrew Union College-Nelson Glueck School of Biblical Archaeology, the Hebrew University (Mt. Scopus campus), the Rockefeller Museum, and the Israel Antiquities Authority. Also, within easy driving distance are the Institute of Islamic Archaeology of Al-Quds University, the Israel Museum, the Bible Lands Museum and the Hebrew University (Givat Ram campus). This grouping of scholarly resources is one of the richest concentrations of human, bibliographic and artifact resources in ancient Near Eastern Studies.
For more than a century, Albright/ASOR has provided scholars with an unparalleled international cultural environment and a unique program that spans the broad spectrum of ancient Near Eastern studies. Each year, Albright Fellows, primarily from the United States, Canada, Europe and also from Asia, Australia, and South Africa, as well as Israelis and Palestinians, exchange information and ideas with hundreds of researchers from countries in the Eastern Mediterranean basin. Dedicated to the advancement of the study of the literature, history and culture of the ancient Near East, including the disciplines of the Archaeology of Palestine and Biblical Studies, the Albright continues to be a major research center and to strive for excellence in scholarship.
Now, as in the past, the Albright Institute provides annually a wide range of programs and facilities for doctoral and post-doctoral research, as well as information-sharing, internship and field work programs for more than 3,000 persons. These include a series of eighty-five scholarly presentations, study tours and social events, and support for twenty-five ASOR-affiliated/AIAR-assisted excavation, survey and publications projects. It also includes a publications program, an extensive research library, workshops and living accommodations. The Albright Institute jointly sponsors with the Institute of Archaeology of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem the long-term Tel Miqne-Ekron excavation and publications project. It also initiated and administers the international research project, “The Neo-Assyrian Empire in the 7th Century BC: A Study of the Interactions between Center and Periphery,” involving fifty researchers working in thirteen countries in the Middle East and Mediterranean basin.
For more information about the history and development of the Albright, see Philip J. King’s American Archaeology in the Mideast: A History of the American Schools of Oriental Research, Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 1983; and An ASOR Mosaic: A Centennial History of the American Schools of Oriental Research, 1900-2000, ed. Joe D. Seger, Boston: American Schools of Oriental Research, 2001 (specifically pp.125-238, the chapter on the Albright, and pp.80, 89-93, on the Albright Centennial).
Updated April 2011