"A. D. Xenopol" Institute of History

The History Institute was founded in 1940, as a result of the transformation of the Seminary of Romanians' History within the Faculty of Letters and Philosophy of the University of Iaºi. Starting with 1943, by a law-decree, the institute becomes "legal entity with public rights", under the name of "A.D. Xenopol" Institute of History, functioning under the tutelary authority of the Ministry of National Culture and Cults.

Hence, our university and academic centre gained extra scientific authority, by acquiring an institution of historical research, like the other two big university centres in the country, Bucharest and Cluj, where institutes of national and universal history had been functioning for some time. With the reform of Education and that of the Romanian Academy in 1948, the "A.D. Xenopol" Institute of History became subordinate institution of the Academy and has remained such, with short breaks, until today.

Some of the research workers of the Institute were among the most famous Romanian historians. Scholars like Mircea Petrescu-Dimboviþa, Dan Teodor, Nicolae Grigoraº, Dumitru Ciurea, Nicolae Corivan, Ecaterina Negruþi, Dumitru Vitcu, Dumitru Ivãnescu, Dumitru ªandru, Leonid Boicu, Veniamin Ciobanu and Alexandru Zub contributed to the enrichment of the ancient, medieval, modern and contemporary history, history of international relations and history of culture. The scientific value of the works published by the researchers of the Institute "A.D. Xenopol" was confirmed by the Romanian Academy awards many of them received.

The political changes occurred in Romania at the end of 1989 affected the History Institute "A.D. Xenopol" as well. Over the 12 years that have passed, in the personnel structure a series of modifications occurred, after the retirement of some of the research workers, the migration of others towards other institutions, and also the employing of hard working young people, capable to commit themselves to this type of activity (Sorin Antohi, Florea Ioncioaia, Cãtãlin Turliuc, Gheorghe Oniºoru, Florin Cantec, Vasile Docea, Lucian Nãstasã, Flavius Solomon, in a first wave, and Andi Mihalache, Dorin Dobrincu, Leonidas Rados, Adrian Cioflancã, Cãtãlina Mihalache, Marius and Cãtãlina Chelcu, Mihai Chiper, Liviu Brãtescu, Bogdan Moºneagu, in a second one). As a result of these changes, the Institute remained with five research groups, presently existing, i.e., history of Middle Age, modern history, contemporary history, history of international relations and history of culture.

In its new form, released from the interference of politics and Marxist doctrine, under the coordination of Professor Dr. Alexandru Zub, the "A.D. Xenopol" Institute has become an establishment of historical research, meant to start and work on study programs of high academic rank, aiming at researches of monographic restitution, of systematisation and analysis of facts, as well as at theoretical explorations, in accordance to the demand of present times, on scientific issues that the Romanian past raises, starting with Middle Age to the period of the communist regime. Romanians' history is not treated just as a singular case, but in tight connection to the European historical evolutions in our proximity or in remote areas. At the same time, the Institute wishes to be a centre of guidance in the Romanian history science, capable to transmit new methods, models and visions in the approaching of a big diversity of historiographic themes.

Consequently, in the period 1990-2002, the research staff of the "A.D. Xenopol" Institute of History committed themselves, beyond the continuation of the traditional research direction, to systematic studies regarding the issues of elite, nationalism, minorities, totalitarianism or that of history-memory relation. For the achievement of a permanent exchange of ideas between research workers, except for the traditional meetings of bimonthly communications, numerous scientific meetings were organized, in which participated, besides the researchers from Iaºi, many historians from the whole country as well as from abroad. In this interval of time, the results of these commitments that the scholars of the Institute made reflected both in their participation in a series of important scientific events, domestic and external, as well as in the publication of several volumes and studies in the periodic publications of the Institute and other scientific magazines inside and outside the country. At the same time, as a result of the collaboration with universities and academic institutions abroad, by the agency of fellowships, almost all the members of the Institute benefited by documentation travels abroad, a fact that made easier the direct contact with foreign historians and especially with the newest results of Western-European and American historiography, occasioning, at the same time, the possibility to collaborate for a series of volumes published abroad.

Though confronted with financial difficulties, generated by a too long "transition" in Romanian economy, which affected the editorial full capitalization of the researchers' activity, the Institute managed, with the support of the Romanian Academy, to continue the printing of its main periodic publication, Annals of "A.D. Xenopol" Institute of History, a review of scientific notoriety inside the country and abroad. At the same time, with the contribution of the research workers and through the efforts of the Academic Foundation "A.D. Xenopol", founded in 1992 to support scientific research in the city of Iaºi, the Institute succeeded in publishing ten volumes (each of them thematically conceived), of the magazine Xenopoliana. By now, the Institute has also issued the magazines Arhiva Genealogicã (Genealogical Archives) and Studia et Acta Historiae Iudaeorum Romaniae, due to the profitable efforts of our colleagues, Professor Dr. ªtefan S. Gorovei, respectively Professor Dr. Dumitru Vitcu.

The past decade, as a result of the acknowledgement of the scientific prestige it has enjoyed and still enjoys, the "A.D. Xenopol" Institute of History received the right to organize doctorates, the following scholars being appointed as thesis coordinators: Alexandru Zub, Veniamin Ciobanu, Dumitru ªandru, Dumitru Vitcu ºi Dumitru Ivãnescu. The scientific merits acquired led to the election of the director of the Institute, Alexandru Zub, as a member by correspondence of the Romanian Academy, of the Academy of History (Lisbon) and of the Society of South-Eastern European Studies (Munch), as well as to his awarding with the title of "Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres" and the medal "Steaua Romaniei" in rank of Great Officer.

At the same time, the "A.D. Xenopol" Institute has been visited by numerous historians and men of culture from abroad, as Katherine Verdery, Catherine Durandin, Paul E. Michelson, Henry Eaton, Glenn E. Torrey, Ladis Kristof, Matei Cazacu, Victor Karady, François Furet, Dumitru Nãstase, Dennis Deletant, Harald Heppner, Krista Zach, Carol Iancu, Lucian Herºcovici and others, who either participated in some of the scientific meetings organised here, or presented papers in the bimonthly meetings. All this highly commendable activity summed up led to the granting, by the Romanian Academy, in 2000, of the title of "Centre of Excellence".