|Serapis Research Institute||Serapis, Inc.|
|1155 East 58th Street, Chicago, Illinois 60637 U.S.A.|
The Serapis Research Institute is an organization founded by professional Egyptologists to broaden knowledge and understanding of ancient Egyptian civilization. To that end, the Institute sponsors primary research on ancient Egypt. Those individuals engaged in Serapis-sponsored research projects are Egyptologists who hold Ph.D. degrees in the field of Egyptology from reputable American universities or are official candidates for that degree. Projects sponsored by the Serapis Research Institute are chosen by the director of the Institute or by the Board of Directors of Serapis Inc. Each project is overseen by an officer of the Institute.
Serapis recognizes that the ultimate value of any research lies not only in the discovery of new knowledge, but also in the dissemination of that knowledge, for research remains incomplete until it is communicated to colleagues and the world at-large. Serapis established for itself the administrative mechanism that combines these two purposes. Thus, the contributions of the Serapis Research Institute to Egyptology lie in the interrelated areas of research and publication.
More recently, Serapis is sponsoring and contributing to the Theban Tombs Publication Project on the west bank of the Nile River across from modern Luxor. The purpose of this undertaking is to recover and preserve the decorated noblemen's tombs located in Western Thebes and dating to the period of the Egyptian Empire. As an integrated documentation project, it combines in unique fashion the disciplines of archaeology, the natural sciences, social and art histories, language, and fine-arts conservation to produce a multi-faceted record of the tombs, their owners, and the times in which they lived.
Articles for submission to Serapis: The American Journal of Egyptology are juried by the editors. In addition, manuscripts are often sent to third-party Egyptologists for review. Often, the editors will solicit articles on a special or timely subject from a specialist in that area. The journal's editorial policy requires that all its book reviews be serious critical studies that provide significant insight into the subject matter of the book under review. A separate Book Review Editor has been charged with maintaining this policy.
In addition to the journal, it has been the intention of the Serapis Research Institute to inaugurate in the near future a new monographic series entitled, Serapis Supplementary Publications. Each volume of this new series will appear at irregular intervals as a self-contained study concerned with some discreet aspect of Egyptological and archaeological research. This series will be the primary vehicle for the publication and dissemination of the research carried out under the auspices of the Institute, as well as non-institute-related research.
Operating funds for the Serapis Research Institute and its research projects derive from the contributions and gifts of individual private donors who share an interest in the activities and goals of the Institute. However, the journal, Serapis: The American Journal of Egyptology, has been organized as a self-supporting venture. Funds to produce and publish subsequent issues derived from the sales of preceding issues. The price of each issue of the journal have been determined solely by the cost of publication. Subscription rates have been kept at a reasonable level through low overhead costs and early computerization of the editing and production processes, as well as through continued expansion of the subscription base. Hence, circulation nearly saturated the American and international institutional markets, while the majority of the leading western Egyptologists have also been subscribing to the journal. Serapis has also maintained exchange agreements with several Egyptological institutes and journals in Germany and Eastern Europe.
Due to the non-profit nature of the Serapis Research Institute and Serapis Inc., none of their assets inure to the benefit of any of the officers or directors of the organization. Neither do these individuals, at the present time, receive a salary for their administrative services. They serve on a pro bono basis.
After the appearance of Volume Two, Serapis went into hiatus until 1976, when a new editorial board was founded. Although still a "student" organization at that time, the board reformulated the journal into a professional academic publication particularly for senior Egyptologists. This two-pronged improvement made Serapis simultaneously an instrument specifically of Egyptological scholarship, while elevating it from the level of student publication. However, students were still invited to submit manuscripts for review and publication alongside of senior scholars. Thereafter, Volume Three of Serapis appeared in 1977 containing all but one article written by Egyptologists with doctoral degrees. In keeping with its policy of upgrading quality and with an eye toward international recognition, Volume Four was published in 1978 under the newly expanded title, Serapis: The American Journal of Egyptology.
Funding for the first three issues of Serapis derived in major part from the docents of The Oriental Institute Museum Volunteer Guide Program and from individual donors and benefactors. Despite these financial gifts and the logistical support of The Oriental Institute, Serapis remained completely independent from The University of Chicago and The Oriental Institute in its organizational structure, financing, and editorial policy.
In 1983, Serapis was recognized officially by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service as a tax-exempt educational organization empowered to receive tax-deductible donations. Receipt of this recognition has enabled the Serapis Research Institute to expand its fundraising activities among private and corporate donors and, thus, maintain its research operations in the field and at home.
Today, the Board of Directors of Serapis Inc. includes: Dr. Eugene Cruz-Uribe, Northern Arizona State University, Dr. Joseph Manning, Stanford University, and Dr. Peter Piccione, University of Charleston, S.C. The Director of the Serapis Research Institute is Dr. Peter Piccione. The Serapis Research Institute remains today, as it always has been, a wholly independent Egyptological organization unaffiliated with any other university or institute.