REPORT OF THE PROGRAMS AND ACTIVITIES OF THE AMERICAN RESEARCH CENTER IN SOFIA (ARCS) FOUNDATION, 2016

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Another productive year for the American Research Center in Sofia is coming to an end. In 2016 ARCS supported the publication of four new books dedicated to Bulgarian history and culture. Several more books are scheduled to appear shortly. We will be happy to send you copies of our publications: CLICK HERE TO ACCESS THE ARCS' PUBLICATIONS CATALOG. In November, an exhibition of rare books from the U.S. Library of Congress Bulgarian collection included several of ARCS’S publications donated to the library, displayed alongside iconic editions like The Fish Primer by Petar Beron.

For the eighth consecutive year, ARCS hosted a number of North American and Eastern European scholars and students at its facilities in Sofia, providing them with the logistical support necessary to conduct their research in Bulgaria andenabling them to reach libraries, museums, universities, and laboratories and present academic lectures in Bulgaria. The 2016 academic program of ARCS accepted 11 graduate students who studied at the premises of the Center, attended lectures, presented their research, and participated in academic field trips around Bulgaria. ARCS organized its fifth Archaeological Field School, during which the ARCS team conducted a second season of excavations at the Roman town of Parthicopolis, located beneath the modern town of Sandanski (pictured below) in southwestern Bulgaria. The ARCS team trained a total of 8 North American and Bulgarian students at the field school.
 
Over the past year ARCS has continued actively developing “The Immigrant’s Suitcase: Virtual Museum of the Bulgarians in North America” (www.immigrant.bg) and enriching its content with new exciting stories about Bulgarian immigrants living in the U.S. There is strong public interest in “The Immigrant’s Suitcase”: the project’s Facebook page has more than 900 members, and the virtual museum has received substantial TV and radio coverage in both Bulgaria and the U.S.
 
Since 2009, ARCS has been developing the online portal “Victims of Communism in Bulgaria,” with the goal of preparing a complete database of individuals and their biographical information, thus filling a significant gap in our historical knowledge. Last year our team successfully upgraded the website to a more user-friendly and efficient digital platform that now hosts various data about more than 23,000 victims of the communist regime, including oral histories, documents, photographs, video documentaries, and links to bibliography, news articles, and related events. We are collaborating with the Bulgarian State Archives in their recent initiative to collect historical records about Bulgarian victims of Communism.
 
Last but not least, ARCS provided support for conferences such as the 9th Joint North American and Bulgarian Conference in Sofia, Bulgaria, and the annual convention of the Association of Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies in Washington, D.C. in November. Among the most important events this year was the October premiere of the book Allied Deliberations on Bulgaria: World War II at the National Palace of Culture under the patronage of the President of the Republic of Bulgaria, Mr. Rosen Plevneliev. In December the Bulgarian Embassy in Washington, D.C. hosted another outstanding presentation of the same book, along with talks on modern history delivered by prominent international lecturers and a piano performance by the acclaimed Bulgarian-American musician Ani Gogova. Allied Deliberations on Bulgaria: World War II received much interest and high praise by Bulgarian and American academics and dignitaries and has been nominated for the Thomas Jefferson Prize of the Society for History of the Federal Government.