American Institute for Lankan Studies (AILS)
The American Institute for Lankan Studies (AILS), a non-profit company registered in Sri Lanka, serves as the Colombo center for the American Institute for Sri Lankan Studies (AISLS). It provides a wide range of services to AISLS members and other researchers, both local and foreign, working in the humanities and social sciences. The center offers a reference library of about 1,500 books and a selection of journals, offprints, conference proceedings, and electronic resources, including JSTOR. The library is open to both local and foreign readers and its book holdings are available in an up-to-date online catalogue. AILS staff members can provide assistance in using the book collection and in accessing JSTOR. Depending the topic, AILS staff may also be able to offer more substantive research advice. Researchers may also wish to consult our Guide to Research Libraries in Sri Lanka.
Staff at the Colombo center carry out activities that fall under two core programme areas. First, they support digitization and/or preservation of important research resources, including endangered historical and contemporary material. Second, in partnership with both Sri Lankan and U.S. academics and universities, AILS supports the nurturing of long-term intellectual agendas and epistemic communities in selected fields (currently historiography and art history). In collaboration with Sri Lankan public universities and other local organizations, AILS also supports efforts to strengthen teaching and research on Sri Lanka in selected humanities and social science fields. In addition, the center sponsors occasional invitational workshops and public lectures. These meetings promote the exchange of ideas among academics, researchers, and others from Sri Lanka, the United States and third countries.