The W.F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research (AIAR) in Jerusalem is the oldest American research center 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.
For more than a century, Albright/ASOR has provided students and scholars involved in doctoral and post-doctoral research with an unparalleled intellectual environment and a unique program, which spans the broad spectrum of Near Eastern Studies from prehistory to the early Islamic period. Today, this includes an annual series of eighty lectures, reports, seminars, workshops, field trips and social events, and support for thirty-two ASOR-affiliated and Albright-assisted excavation and publication projects. One of these projects is the long-term Tel Miqne-Ekron excavation and publications project, jointly sponsored by the Albright Institute and the Institute of Archaeology of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In addition, the Albright also sponsors a lecture program for students and faculty of the Institute of Archaeology of Al-Quds University; and an internship program for foreign students from the Hebrew University. The Albright also has a publications program, an extensive research library, workshops and living accommodations.
The annual program involves more than 3,000 participants, including sixty-five Albright Fellows primarily from the United States, Canada, Europe, China, Israel and the Palestinian Authority, who exchange information and ideas with hundreds of local researchers, as well as those from other countries in the eastern Mediterranean basin. More than $325,000 is awarded to fellows each year in stipends and administrative fee grants. Since 1946, there have been more than 1,200 Fellows at the Albright from twenty countries, representing more than 200 universities, colleges and other institutions.