About us

Welcome to the American Research Center in Sofia (ARCS), a non-profit foundation, registered in Bulgaria in 2005, which facilitates academic interaction, research, and activities in the humanities and social sciences in Bulgaria and neighboring Balkan countries. ARCS provides logistical support to American scholars and students in Bulgaria and works in partnership with the American Research Center in Bulgaria, Inc., a nonstock, 501(c)(3) corporation, registered in Virginia and dedicated to promoting academic cooperation between North America and Southeast Europe.  

Specifically, the primary aims of ARCS are:

  • to encourage and support research in the humanities and social sciences (anthropology, archaeology, history, art history, epigraphy, and philology) in Bulgaria and Southeast Europe on the period from prehistory through Late Antiquity;
  • to encourage and support research in the humanities and social sciences (archaeology, art history, cultural anthropology, epigraphy, history, ethnicity and culture, folklore, modern languages and literary studies) on the historical periods in Bulgaria and Southeast Europe after Late Antiquity; 
  • to advocate the protection of archaeological and historical sites and monuments in Bulgaria and neighboring Southeast European countries;
  • to foster research and collaboration between North American scholars and those in Bulgaria and neighboring Southeast European countries, all of which share strong cultural and historical ties and heritage;
  • to facilitate a dialog among scholars from the countries in the region and provide a forum for objective assessment and analysis of local histories and to promote free academic discussion of debatable topics in any chronological period.

The following goals are of particular interest for the Foundation:

1/ preservation of historical memory and research on the totalitarian regimes in the history of Bulgaria and neighboring countries, with a focus on collecting archives, documents and personal testimonials;

2/ research on the history of Bulgarian-American relations and the Bulgarian emigration to the USA.

In order to accomplish its mission, ARCS:

  • maintains a specialized research library whose collection reflects the geographic, temporal and thematic scope of our mission;
  • offers Fellowships and Awards to scholars from North American and Southeast European universities and institutes;
  • organizes public lectures, workshops, conferences and educational programs;
  • publishes monographs and collective volumes;
  • cooperates and collaborates with public and private universities and institutes in the region;
  • cooperates and collaborates with North American universities and institutes, including the American School of Classical Studies in Athens and the American Research Institute in Turkey; this includes facilitating the work of North American scholars through the provision of logistical support and expertise.

Our funded programs include:

  • Pre-doctoral fellowships (3- and 9-months) for US-based students
  • A Postdoctoral fellowship (6 months) for US-based scholars

ARCS is very grateful to the Packard Humanities Institute, which provided for the acquisition of the Center's building and grounds and their renovation in 2007-2009, and to the America for Bulgaria Foundation, the primary financial sponsor of the Center in 2009-2014.