Institute of Albanology - Prishtina

The Institute of Albanology (IA) is an independent public research-scientific institute of special national interest, which studies the spiritual and material culture of the Albanian nation. IA activities are conducted in accordance with the Law on Institute of Albanology and the Law on Research-Scientific Activities in Kosova.

The object of IA activity is the research-scientific work in the following fields of albanology: linguistics, literature, folklore, history and ethnology. IA conducts the activities by researching albanological problems on the ground and in archives, studying them and publishing the scientific outcomes and results. IA organizes sessions, symposiums, conferences and round tables in which different aspects from the fields of albanology are presented and discussed. The managing bodies of the IA are the following: the Scientific Council, as a scientific and professional body; the Steering Committee, as a collegial steering body; and the Director of the Institute. The Institute has its archive, the library, the exhibition hall, the reading room, the scientific room and the cabinets of the workshops where many independent research-scientific activities are conducted.


The IA Background


The IA was established on 1 June 1953. Initially it numbered four employees and a number of external assistants. This initial staff was very committed and devoted to different fields of Albanian studies, but the Serbian regime of the time, aiming to either use this Institution for their propaganda purposes, or completely impede its activities. Thus, with an arbitrary decision of the State bodies of the time, the Institute was closed down on December 25, 1995. The secret intelligence state service of the time sequestered the manuscripts, books and other materials, banishing the scientific staff.


In 1960s, when university schooling in Albanian started with the opening up of several faculties in Prishtina, the Albanian studies were also revived. Under the conditions created after 1966, on February 28, 1967 the Institute of Albanology was re-established counting only five members of scientific staff and it was placed in old former military barracks. Thanks to the countless efforts of the scientific staff who had established the Institute, within ten years this Institute managed to shape its full profile and achieve its first yet very important successes in different fields of Albanian studies. During these ten years a great deal of work was put in capacity building of new scientific staff and a rich material of folk, ethnology, linguistic and other spheres was gathered. In all of the Albanian lands, there were many researches in archives and libraries and a rich fund of books and publications was gathered for the library of the IA. In 1977 the IA moved to the new modern facility which was build especially for this important national Institute, since the IA had increased the number of staff and opened up many new braches and sectors.

Yet, the IA in Prishtina was severely injured by Serbian politics also during the second decade of its existence. After 1981 when the process of disintegrating Kosova’s autonomy had started, under direct pressure from the politics, which was characterized by its combating against «Albanian irredentism», the overall work of this institute, and especially the long term planning and the publishing activities, were all subjected to political monitoring and assessment. The largest strike against IA was the one in the field of inter-Albanian cooperation, since during this period, for more than 10 years in a row every form of cooperation with scientific institutions of Albania was interrupted.

In the third decade, the IA in Prishtina was left without any financing whatsoever, yet it continued to work. Its staff, convinced that the way to liberty is bound to undergo such sacrifice, was obliged to live from the assistance coming from different humanitarian association, like was «Mother Tereza» Charity Organization. But they had an enormous enthusiasm for continuation and their research, publications and presentations endured in spite of the many difficulties, thanks to private donations. Thus the activities of IA were never completely extinguished. This did not happen even when the building of the IA was violently taken away from its staff in March 8, 1994 and when the elder generation of researchers and scholars working in it were expelled from their work place covered in blood from cruelty. They managed to organize themselves and continue their activities inside a private house, in conditions, which, to say the least, were very harsh. The scientific activities did not stop and the IA continued its work inside this house until April 1, 1998, when the authorities of the invading Serbian state in Kosova, having reached an agreement with Albanians throught an international mediator, got out of the building of the IA which they had violently taken into possession. This act in itself gave great hope to the people of Kosova that other violently taken buildings would continue to be returned to their legitimate users. But this hope was short-lived since the war, which had already started in parts of Kosova, started to expand and soon everything was about to lose its sense.

During NATO bombing, the IA building was abused once again by the Serbian military troops, which used it as a shelter hiding themselves from the bombing. During this time, the building was severely damaged and many unique materials of special importance were looted from the archive of the Institute.

After large numbers of victims and a lot of damage caused to Kosova in its liberating war, in June 1999, the IA returned back to its research and scientific work.


The IA Today


Today, the IA in Prishtina has five main departments of activity. These are Linguistics, Literature, Folklore, History and Ethnology, each with their sub-branches. The common denominator of these departments is the studying of Albanian national culture, known as Albanology. As far as the staff is concerned, today IA has a number of professional staff who have the status of research advisors, senior research associates, research associates and the research assistants who consist the youngest generation of employees in science department. In total the Institute numbers 34 researchers and 15 administrative/technical ones.


Today the IA cooperates with many national and international institutions. The cooperation with in Albania and other countries where Albanians live is a very close one and is conducted through joint research, expeditions, symposiums, conferences, sessions and other forms of cooperation which broaden the notion of what is called Albanology and Albanian studies, regardless of respective region or state.


Researchers of the mid and young generation of the Institute have managed to pursue specializations in different fields of study, having spent some time abroad in European and other foreign universities. Apart from the experiences which there scholars brought from other countries, they have also brought different approaches, books and other materials which have enriched the library of IA.


The Activities of IA


Te research-scientific activities of IA are carried through scientific projects, research activities on the field, researches in archives, organization of scientific meetings and through publishing activities.


Scientific projects

After six decades of intensive research work, allthough with some interruptions, the IA has achieved a great number of collective and individual projects in the fields of linguistics, literature, history, folklore and ethnology. Most of the projects carried out are published separately, in monographs, abstracts, the IA periodicals and so on.

Within the field of Linguistics, there have been projects from lexicography (several bilingual dictionaries and orthographic dictionaries published, dialectology, language culture, onomastics etc. In Literature there were projects from history of literature, literary criticism and theories, as well as studies of individual authors and literary periods. In Folklore there was the joint project of publishing the folk materials in 27 separate volumes as well as many monographs. Within the department of History there have been several archeological projects and other historical projects dealing with diverse issues, starting from medieval ages to present day Albanian history. Within the Ethnology department there were projects dealing with the Albanian culture, their rites and customs.


Research-Scientific Fieldworks

Research-Scientific fieldworks are organized both collectively and individually. The collective ones are organized in different zones of Kosova and other Albanian lands, mainly those where the material and cultural heritage is preserved more. After the war in Kosova, there are organised some common fieldwork research expeditions with colleagues from simmilar institutes in Albania and Macedonia who explored linguistic and ethnografic materials in specific regions. Thus IA has realised 6 collective expeditions with research institutes in Albania and Macedonia. In those collective field trips groups of scientists of different profiles, experience and age take place, in order to enable, apart from field research and gathering of material, also a heterogeneous experience within the group, enabling the very participants of the field trip to exchange opinions. The field trips are always done with transportation and recording equipment.

The materials gathered in the field trips are handed to the Archive of the Institute and then evidenced and examined in order to serve as future reference for studies. Apart from collective field trips there are also individual ones, where research scientists go to the field trip to study specific issues of phenomena. These are also supported from the IA.


Symposiums, Sessions, Conferences, Round Tables

The research and scientific work of the IA staff is presented also through different public presentations such as symposiums, sessions, conferences, round tables etc. In these presentations, the results of research and studies conducted are made public. Depending on the issue examined in the presentations, these presentations are conducted in terms of scientific symposiums, round tables or otherwise. Scholars and researchers of different professional profiles participate in them and present results of their reasearch activiteties. Recently, since the year of 2010 Institute of Albanology is organising annually multidisiplinar tradicional activity called The Week of Albanology, where except its reasearchers are participating wellknown researchers from the region and more.



The publications of the IA are the regular ones and the special ones. The regular publications are the following:


1.               Gjurmime albanologjike (Albanological Research)

a.               the philological sciences series

b.               folklore and ethnology series

c.               historical sciences series


Until now there 41 issues of each of the series have been published. There was a period of time when the journal Gjurmime albanologjike, with some selected papers, was also published in French under the title Recherches albanologique. Since 2008 all three issues of Gjurmime albanologjike, are published in their online version, thanks to cooperation that IA has with the Central and Eastern Online Library (CEEOL).


2.               Gjuha shqipe (Albanian Language)


This is a scientific-practical journal, publishing papers and current issues from the field of applied linguistics and culture of language.

In both journals the papers of scientific staff of IA and other Albanian or foreign scholars are published. The relevant editorial staff of each (elected once every four year) is in charge for publications.


Special publications are the ones including projects, monographs of different authors from the National Renaissance period or other periods, publication of folklore material and many others. Until now the IA has published almost 500 publications.


The Organizational Structure


I.        Research-Scientific Work


In order to conduct a more specialized study of the spiritual and material culture of the Albanian nation, and aiming to cover a wide range of relevant disciplines of albanology, the research-scientific work is organized in departments and sectors.


1.                       the Linguistics Department with the sectors of Dialectology, Lexicography, Language Culture and Onomastics;

2.                       the Literary Department with the general sector;

3.                       the Folklore Department with sectors of Folk Literature and Ethno-musicology;

4.                       the History Department with the sectors of History and Archaeology;

5.                       the Ethnology Department.


II.     General works


This sector encompasses the overall professional, administrative, financial and technical works.


The Library

In order to assist the further development of albanological sciences in general, during its existence the institute has endeavored to establish, run and enrich a specialized scientific library. The books and other materials of the library are accessible not only to scientific staff of IA, but also to all outside contributors and other interested parties.

Today the Institute counts around 20,000 different book titles in its library fund, 130 manuscripts and photocopies and around 17,000 different journals. The IA Library has cooperated with many other libraries and scientific institutions, both international and national, especially with the Albanian educational and cultural institutions.

The Library of the Institute of Albanology, just like the Institute itself has undergone different challenges in its history. After 1981 due to the situation created in Kosova, the international cooperation was interrupted. Until March 1994, the Library fund was protected with every standard norm. After the IA staff was violently expelled from their building, the fund of the Library was placed in private houses of some generous citizens in Prishtina.

After the war in Kosova and the return of the employees in the IA building, the books were also returned in their place and today the library of the IA is enriched with new titles and we hope that soon it will be equipped with computerized database for simpler usage.


The Archive

The archive collects, processes and preserves the material gathered in the fields. Almost the entire treasure of spiritual and material culture of the Albanian people, gathered by IA staff or other contributors, is to be found in this archive. Before the war there were 863 files registered containing over 100 thousand archive units from different fields of Albanology. A good part of this material is published in the publications of the Institute. Materials registered in tape reels are of very special importance. Due to unsuitable conditions for their preservation, especially when the IA was forcefully made to withdraw from its building, parts of archive material have been damaged. Thanks to the aid of donors, a part of those is recorded in CDs.

During the NATO bombing, when the Serb military troops were utilizing the building of IA to shelter from the bombs, the science archive was severely damaged. There are entire files of external scholars and contributors missing ever since, volumes of series of old publications and reels with recorded material.

Today the archive has many damaged files of their scientific staff, 112 of external contributors and 135 damaged ethnological units. In spite of the current poor condition of the archive, the endeavors to revive and enrich it are growing, especially through organizing new group and individual field trips and widening the network of external contributors.


The Exhibition Hall

The IA has an exhibition hall where ethnological units are exhibited. These units represent values of material culture and are gathered from different ethnographic regions. The enrichment of the funds of this hall is owed to the work of ethnologists from the Institute, but also to external contributors, i.e. from the field. The preservation and care of this exhibits is a duty of the scientific and technical staff from the Ethnology branch and the Institute Archive. This is a permanent exhibition.






The administrative, financial and technical work is done by the administrative staff, which has been engaged in enabling scientific and research work ever since the Institute commenced to function. This service consists of all employees who deal with organizing different professional, administrative, financial and technical aspects of the work in IA.



Telephone: +381 38 220 822

Fax/phone: + 381 38 224 156




Instituti Albanologjik

rr. Eqrem Çabej, p.n.

10.000 Prishtina


2013 * Copyright Instituti Albanologjik
Të gjitha drejtat e rezervuara