On May 21, 2014 the American Center for Mongolian Studies (ACMS) celebrated the 10th anniversary of the opening of its Ulaanbaatar representative office with a reception and office grand opening event. The Mongolian Minister of Culture. Tourism and Sport, Oyungerel, offered congratulations to the ACMS for its many years of support for academic research in Mongolia, and its efforts to promote academic exchanges between Mongolia and international countries. US Ambassador to Mongolia Piper Wind Campbell offered her support for the ACMS, and noted that the US Government and US Embassy work closely with the ACMS to support academic research and exchanges between the United States and Mongolia. Representatives of several other countries, including Canada and Australia were also present to offer their congratulations. ACMS Executive Director Dr. Charles Krusekopf noted, “The ACMS plays a key role in building knowledge about Mongolia in the world, and in bringing the world of knowledge to Mongolia.” Dr. Krusekopf highlighted that the future of Mongolian Studies is bright, and interest in academic research in Mongolia has been growing in recent years.
The ACMS office in Ulaanbaatar is located at the Natsagdorj Ulaanbaatar City Library on Seoul Street, and includes a Research Library collection of almost 5000 English language books on Mongolia for use by international and Mongolian scholars and a staff of 8 employees. The ACMS Research Library is the largest collection of international scholarship on Mongolia in the country, and is open to researchers from all countries. The ACMS representative office supports a variety programs, including a fellowship program for Mongolian and international scholars conducting field research in Mongolia and abroad, a regular Speaker Series that highlights current academic research projects, the Books for Asia program that distributes more than 45,0000 academic books every year to Mongolian libraries and schools, workshops and training for Mongolian scholars and institutions, a summer Mongolian language program for visiting scholars, study tours, and academic research projects in a variety of fields including the documentation and preservation of Mongolia’s tangible and intangible cultural heritage.
The ACMS was represented by its Executive Director, Dr. Charles Krusekopf, the Chair of its Board of Director, Dr. Bill Fitzhugh of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC, and its Resident Director, Marc Tasse. Dr. Krusekopf recalled the opening of the first ACMS office in May 2004 at the National University of Mongolia, and the support received since that time from donors and partners of the ACMS including the US Government, the Henry Luce Foundation and the Asia Foundation. The ACMS has seen an increase in the numbers of scholars applying for fellowships, and assists a growing number of international scholars coming to Mongolia to conduct field research. The organization has received requests for support from over 12,000 researchers in Mongolia and abroad since its founding, and last year directly assisted more than 200 international academics working in Mongolia.
The ACMS represents a consortium of over 40 academic institutions active in the field of Mongolian Studies in North America, and includes more than 300 individual student and scholar members. The ACMS supports scholars working in all fields of study related to Mongolia, and serves as a central meeting place for Mongolian and international academics. It maintains a US office in the Center for East Asian Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, and regularly sponsors Mongolian Studies events in the United States and Canada. Since its founding, the ACMS has provided more than $2.4 million in support of Mongolian Studies programs, including field research and academic exchange fellowships to more than 100 scholars from Mongolia and other countries. The ACMS has hosted almost 200 Speaker Series events and dozens of academic conferences and workshops.
Future plans for the ACMS include an expansion in the number of workshops and training offered within Mongolia, especially in the areas of cultural heritage documentation and preservation, business school training to support the development small and medium enterprises, and training for librarians on the use of new technologies and research tools. Together with the Smithsonian Institution and Mongolian museums and institutes, the ACMS is coordinating a new program to build a cultural heritage database and management system for tangible and intangible cultural heritage in Mongolia. More information on the ACMS can be found at www.mongoliacenter.org or www.facebook.com/AmericanCenterForMongolianStudies.
collected by Fan Xiuli