The Project

The Immigrant’s Suitcase: Virtual Museum of the Bulgarians in North America is a project developed and supported by the American Research Center in Bulgaria, Inc. (ARCB) and the American Research Center in Sofia Foundation (ARCS). The main goal of the project is to collect and preserve the various life stories of the Bulgarian immigrant community in North America. The project represents the first step in a broad multi-disciplinary study of Southeast European immigrants to the United States and their contribution to American society.

Why is the Immigrant’s Suitcase necessary?

One of the most important reasons for starting this virtual museum about the Bulgarian immigrant community in North America is the fact that a large number of Bulgarians are now living in the USA and Canada. It is crucial for such a large cultural community to preserve and maintain its identity. The Bulgarian community in North America has its own churches, schools, newspapers, radio programs, and a television programs. However, the community does not yet have its own virtual museum that can serve as a place for memory.

Who can participate?

Bulgarians or people of Bulgarian descent who live (or used to live) in North America or who have relatives who migrated recently or in the past to the USA or Canada are welcome to share their stories.

Terms and conditions

For participants

Participation in this virtual emigration portal is voluntary. The first month’s membership is FREE, and thereafter an individual contribution of $8 per month is required for membership. Aside from the mandatory application form (Registration), which everyone who would like to contribute his or her story must complete, the portal allows participants to upload relevant supplemental materials: scans of photographs, albums, diaries, unpublished and published memoirs, letters, magazines and newspapers, and biographical and autobiographical narratives. One section of the application form (Personal Information)must be completed in English, but the language of the narrative (the story of the participant) can be in either English or Bulgarian. Participants will always have the option to maintain anonymity either by using a pseudonym or initials. ARCB and ARCS reserve the right to erase any material, especially if the content contains offensive or inappropriate language. See more in our General Terms and Conditions.

For visitors

In order to access the full content of the website, visitors are required to create a membership account through the portal. Membership allows a visitor to enjoy reading the full stories of Bulgarian immigrants to the USA. The first month’s membership is FREE, and thereafter an individual contribution of $8 per month is required for membership. Otherwise, visitors may only access content that the administrator shares for free with the public. Everyone who has already shared his or her personal story on the website will have the privilege of free access to all the published materials. The use of materials is controlled by ARCB and ARCS. For additional information, see our General Terms and Conditions.