Founded in 1948, the American Research Center in Egypt (ARCE) is a private, non-profit organization composed of educational and cultural institutions, professional scholars, and private individuals. ARCE's mission is to support research on all aspects of Egyptian history and culture, foster a broader knowledge about Egypt among the general public, and strengthen American-Egyptian cultural ties. Over the past 74 years, ARCE has served as a powerful force for conservation, education, and historical research within Egypt.
Our collections cover 7,000 years of Egyptian history, including prehistoric, Pharaonic, Coptic, Islamic, Greco-Roman and more contemporary materials. Housed in the Cairo Center, the Conservation Archives serves as a resource for individuals interested in the dynamics of preserving Egyptian cultural heritage and subject matter covering various fields including but not limited to Egyptology, conservation archaeology, anthropology, art history, Islamic and Coptic studies. The Cairo Center also contains the Marilyn M. and William Kelly Simpson Library , which boasts more than forty thousand volumes in multiple languages (and is now searchable through the online portal).
ARCE Conservation Archives
Beginning in the early 1990s, with support from the United States Agency for international Development (USAID), ARCE facilitated vital conservation projects at historic sites and monuments throughout Egypt. The documentation of these projects, showcasing the monument before, during and after conservation constitute the unique collections of ARCE’s conservation archives. In total, the Conservation Archives include 79 collections. Each collection contains photographic and textual material, including 35mm and 120mm color and black & white slides, born-digital images, technical reports, maps, drawings, and various grant-related documentation. There are around 70,000 photographic slides, 200,000 images, 1,200 documents, 1,000 drawings, as well as a small selection of artifacts and multimedia content.
The Conservation Archives spans 7,000 years of rich Egyptian history, ranging from Pharaonic, Coptic, Islamic, to Greco-Roman. A brief glimpse into the diverse scope of our archives will include Theban tombs, Roman Wall Paintings at Luxor Temple, The Red Monastery in Sohag, and the Bab Zuwayla monument in Historic Cairo. Project work includes conservation, archaeological field training, structural preservation, wall paintings conservation, and historical and archaeological documentation.
In 2015, ARCE began a partnership with the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) digitizing, describing, and publishing content from the ARCE Conservation Archives as part of UCLA’s International Digital Ephemera Project (IDEP). During the first phase of this partnership, ARCE and UCLA worked together to digitize and publish two archival collections on the IDEP platform. In 2019, ARCE was awarded the Foundations Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) for their Humanities Collections and Reference Resources program. The grant resulted in the creation of this website and the digitization and online publication of an additional three collections. Currently under implementation, ARCE was awarded a new federal grant from United States Department of Education allowing further online publication of archival collections. In 2022, ARCE successfully secured vital support through an award from the National Endowment for the Humanities in their Humanities Collections and Reference Resources program, allowing further dissemination of archival material/resources. Additionally, the awards have facilitated the further development of this website’s features and functions. ARCE is concurrently committed to the publication of collections and the improvement of this website’s accessibility; aiming to publish the majority of our available collections by 2025.
Through the generous support provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities Foundations Award (no. PW-264060-19), the ARCE Conservation Archives website launched in December 2020. Our current digitization and online publication efforts are made possible by two in-progress federal grants; from the United States Department of Education (award no. P274A200019) and the National Endowment for the Humanities, Humanities Collections and Reference Resources Program (award no. PW-285113-22).
Fully digitized collections can be found on our homepage and upcoming collections are periodically announced via our rolling banner, found at the top of our website's pages.
ARCE endeavors to continuously expand the accessibility of its unique archival and research resources by seeking additional funding for our digitization and online publication efforts.
The Conservation Archives is housed in a facility within the ARCE Cairo Center. In addition to the records available through the Conservation Archives website, all materials in the physical archives are freely accessible in-person, through an appointment/consultation with archives staff. Scheduling an appointment prior to visiting is required. To schedule an appointment or for further inquiries, email firstname.lastname@example.org. All materials in the Conservation Archives are available for free (for scholarly use), and ARCE membership status does not impact a researcher’s access to material.
The Archives department is open during working hours, 8:30AM – 4:30PM on Sunday through Thursday. All ARCE facilities are closed for weekends (Fridays and Saturdays) as well as all official American and Egyptian holidays. Working hours are also subject to change during Ramadan.
2 Midan Símon Bolívar (Qasr al-Dubara)
Cairo, Egypt 11461
Phone: +20 2 2794-8239