The French School at Athens is one of the seventeen foreign archaeological institutes operating in Athens, Greece. Founded in 1846, the EfA is the oldest foreign institute in Athens. Its early foundation, still a source of considerable prestige, is to be seen culturally connected with French philhellenism and politically with the French East Mediterranean strategy of the time. It operates an active programme of research in all fields of Greek studies, but primarily in archaeology, epigraphy and Classical Studies. The EfA conducts an extensive programme of scholarships and bursaries. Its library holds 80,000 volumes, 550,000 photographs and 35,000 maps.