The University of Chicago’s first president, William Rainey Harper, was a Professor of Semitic Languages, and his brother, Robert Francis Harper, was an Assyriologist. They both taught a the university from its founding in 1891, and the university established the Haskell Oriental Museum, focusing on the ancient Near East, in 1896.
The Oriental Institute was founded in 1919 to research the ancient Near and Middle East. OI sponsors excavations and surveys, operates a museum, publishes many resources, and shares materials on-line.
Here are some of the OI materials available on-line:
- Ancient Near East Site Maps
- CAMEL (Center for Ancient Middle Eastern Landscapes)
- OI News and Notes, searchable by date and subject; see, e.g., August 2016 issue about Babylon (PDF: August 2016/nn231) or 1983 issue, including a story about Harran (PDF: nn87nn87)