The Immigrant Suitcase Project
The Immigrant’s Suitcase: Virtual Museum of the Bulgarians in North America (www.immigrant.bg) is a project developed and supported by the American Research Center in Bulgaria, Inc. (ARCB) and the American Research Center in Sofia Foundation (ARCS).
One of the most important reasons for launching the virtual museumis the large number of Bulgarians living in the USA and Canada. This online museum is intended to serve as a place for collective memory and shared heritage for the Bulgarian community in North America by way of online access to oral histories, collections of visual-anthropological and art materials, interactive exhibits, and an academic library. This digital museum is the first of its kind—a Bulgarian migrants’ museum. It has no reference to physical place and does not act as “the digital footprint of a physical museum”. For the past year of its existence, the fledgling virtual museum has gradually begun to fulfill its role as a home for the collective memory of Bulgarian migrants living in North America. Eventually, when the diaspora is ready and the right conditions arise, the online museum may be the starting point for creating a physical museum in one of the largest urban centers in the USA with a substantial Bulgarian population.