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Library Collections

Collection Access Chart

Select a collection name to read its description.

For a better understanding of the overlapping nature and relationship between collections, browse the library collection descriptions arranged topically.

These collection descriptions first appeared in Under Its Generous Dome, a guidebook by the staff of the Society.

Online inventories with the image icon are fully illustrated.

Collection

Fully Cataloged Online

Some Records Available Online

Digital Access

Notes

Albums All  
Almanacs Through 1840 1841-1876 Through 1820; All single-sheet almanacs AAS holdings reflected in Milton Drake's bibliography, Almanacs of the United States, 2 vols. (New York, 1952); also consult Reference Services for simple lists and files
Amateur Newspapers   Online inventory
Ambrotypes All image Online inventory
American Fiction Through 1800; 1821-1840; J.F. Cooper Collection 1841-1876   AAS Holdings reflected in Lyle H. Wright's three-volume checklist, American Fiction
American History and Culture 1821-1840; 1976-present 1841-1975   For pre-1821 materials, see the Dated Books and Dated Pamphlets Collections
American Portrait Photographs   Online inventory
American Portrait Prints   Online inventory
Annuals Through 1830 1831-1876   AAS Holdings reflected in Frederick Winthrop Faxon's Literary Annuals and Gift Books (Boston, 1912) and Ralph Thompson's American Literary Annuals and Gift Books, 1825-1865 (New York, 1936).
Archives   Archives, 1812-present. Series Description
A card index in the manuscripts room provides some subject access to correspondence written between 1920 and 1970
Atlases All (with the exception 240 USGS Surveys)  
Auction Catalogs Through 1840   AAS holdings reflected in Robert B. Winans's Descriptive Checklist of Book Catalogues Separately Printed in America, 1694-1800 (Worcester, 1981) and George L. McKay's American Book Auction Catalogues, 1713-1934 (New York, 1937)

 

Collection

Fully Cataloged Online

Some Records Available Online

Digital Access

Notes

Bibles 1821-1830 1831-1876 For pre-1821 materials, see the Dated Books and Dated Pamphlets Collection
Bibliographies All
Billheads All Online inventory
Bindings Through 1830 1831-1876
Biography 1821-1840 1841-1876 For pre-1821 materials, see the Dated Books and Dated Pamphlets Collection
Bookplates and Booksellers' Labels Consult the Graphic Arts Department
Book Salesman's Samples A partial checklist is available at the reference services desk
Booksellers' Catalogs Through 1840 AAS holdings reflected in Robert B. Winans's Descriptive Checklist of Book Catalogues Separately Printed in America, 1694-1800 (Worcester, 1981) and George L. McKay's American Book Auction Catalogues, 1713-1934 (New York, 1937)
Broadsides
 
1820-1900 Uncataloged collections:
1) post-1860 popular entertainments programs
2) Worcester broadsides
3) post-1850 broadside ballads

 

Collection

Fully Cataloged Online

Some Records Available Online

Digital Access

Notes

CD-ROMS All
Calendars Online inventory
Calling Cards Online box list
Canadiana Through 1840 1841-Present
Canals All The railroads collection is described separately
Cartes-de-visite Online inventory
Catechisms 1821-1876 For pre-1821 materials, see the Dated Books and Dated Pamphlets Collection
Children's Literature -1801; 1821- 1801-1820 - See the box list for the collection of McLoughlin Bros. Archival Drawings and Prints
Civil War Cartoons Online inventory

About half of the collection has been cataloged and is available through the American Broadsides and Ephemera, Series I collection.

Civil War Envelopes Online inventory
Clipper Ship Cards Online inventory
Cookbooks For pre-1821 materials, see the Dated Books and Dated Pamphlets Collections

 

Collection

Fully Cataloged Online

Some Records Available Online

Digital Access

Notes

Daguerreotypes All image Online inventory
Dated Books Through 1800; 1820 1801-1819
Dated Pamphlets Through 1800; 1820 1801-1819
David Claypoole Johnston Family Collection

image The box list of the entire collection, which also serves as an inventory, is fully illustrated.

An online exhibition of the David Claypoole Johnston Collection was created in March 2003

Devotional Literature See Bibles, Catechisms, and Prayer Books
Dime Novels Albert Johannsen's House of Beadle and Adams and its Dime and Nickel Novels (Norman, Okla., 1950)is annotated with AAS holdings, and the Society maintains checklists of the publications of other dime novel publishers
Directories Through 1830 1831- , checklist available
Drawings image Online inventory

 

Collection

Fully Cataloged Online

Some Records Available Online

Digital Access

Notes

Educational Institutions Through 1840 1841-1876 For pre-1821 materials, see the Dated Books and Dated Pamphlets Collections

Alphabetic and geographic checklists of institutions represented in the Colleges and Universities (American) and Schools and Academies collections are available online.

Election Ballots Online inventory
Encyclopedias
Through 1840
 
For pre-1821 materials, see the Dated Books and Dated Pamphlets Collections
English and European Authors Through 1840 1841-1876 For pre-1821 materials, see the Dated Books and Dated Pamphlets Collections
Ephemera   Consult the Graphic Arts Department
Engravings Through 1821 Arranged by subject and size. Consult the Graphic Arts Department.

 

Collection

Fully Cataloged Online

Some Records Available Online

Digital Access

Notes

First Editions Through 1840 1841-
Foreign History and Travel Through 1840 1841-1876

 

Collection

Fully Cataloged Online

Some Records Available Online

Digital Access

Notes

Games Online inventory
Genealogy All
General Institutions 1821-1840 1841-1876 For pre-1821 materials, see the Dated Books and Dated Pamphlets Collections
Government Documents U.S. Serial Set 1821-1830; all state and town docs. 1821-1830 U.S. Serial Set 1831-1840; most state docs. 1821-1830
Gravestones Online image database

 

Collection

Fully Cataloged Online

Some Records Available Online

Digital Access

Notes

Hawaiian Collection See Hawaiian Language Imprints, 1822-1899: A Bibliography
Hymnals
Through 1830
 

1831- , checklist available

 

Collection

Fully Cataloged Online

Some Records Available Online

Digital Access

Notes

Invitations

 

Collection

Fully Cataloged Online

Some Records Available Online

Digital Access

Notes

Latin Americana Through 1830 1831-Present
Learned Societies Through 1800 1801-Present Online checklist
Library Catalogs Through 1840 1841-1876
Librettos Through 1840 1841-1876 For pre-1821 materials, see the Dated Books and Dated Pamphlets Collections. For post-1840 materials, author and title checklists available in Reading Room.
Lithographs All
Local, County and State Histories 1821-1840 1841-Present For pre-1821 materials, see the Dated Books and Dated Pamphlets Collections.
Lottery Tickets Consult the Graphic Arts Department

 

Collection

Fully Cataloged Online

Some Records Available Online

Digital Access

Notes

Manuscripts More than 80 per cent of the collection Manuscript Collection Descriptions
Maps For early maps printed in America, consult the bibliography compiled by James Clement Wheat and Christian F. Brun, Maps and Charts Published in America Before 1800 (New Haven and London, 1969). This was reprinted in 1985. Kenneth Nebenzahl's Bibliography of Printed Plans of the American Revolution (Chicago, 1975) also reflects the holdings of AAS.
Consult the Graphic Arts Department.
Mather Family Collection Through 1800; 1821-1840 1801-1820; 1840-Present
Mather Family Library A main-entry card file marked with shelf numbers is in the Reading Room
Menus Online inventory
Microforms Consult Reference Services
Miniature Books All
Miscellaneous Pamphlets Holdings are recorded in the AAS copy of National Union Catalog: Pre-1956 Imprints.

 

Collection

Fully Cataloged Online

Some Records Available Online

Digital Access

Notes

Newspapers All; with the exception of new acquisitions For detailed holdings information, consult the Newspaper card catalogs in the Reading Room.

 

Collection

Fully Cataloged Online

Some Records Available Online

Digital Access

Notes

Periodicals Holdings information is recorded in the AAS copy of the Union List of Serials
Photographs Consult the Graphic Arts Department
Photographs of Native Americans All image Online Inventory
Photographs of Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century Structures in Massachusetts taken 1887-1945 by Harriette Merrifield Forbes All image Online Inventory
Plays Through 1840 1841-1876 For pre-1821 materials, see the Dated Books and Dated Pamphlets Collections. For post-1840 materials, author and title checklists available in Reading Room.
Portraits Described in Portraits in the Collection of the American Antiquarian Society (2004)
Postcards Consult the Graphic Arts Department. The collection is arranged geographically by state and city.
Prayer Books 1821-1830 1830-1876 For pre-1821 materials, see the Dated Books and Dated Pamphlets Collection
Printing and Publishing History 1821-1840 1840-Present For pre-1821 materials, see the Dated Books and Dated Pamphlets Collection
Publishers' Series All

 

Collection

Fully Cataloged Online

Some Records Available Online

Digital Access

Notes

Railroads Through 1800; 1821-1840 1801-1820 1840-1876, checklist available
Religion 1821-1840 1840-Present For pre-1821 materials, see the Dated Books and Dated Pamphlets Collection
Reserve Collection Through 1840 1840-1876
Rewards of Merit Most Online inventory

 

Collection

Fully Cataloged Online

Some Records Available Online

Digital Access

Notes

School Books All
Secondary Works in the Arts Through Present
Secular Music Pre-1831 1831-1840 1831-1877
checklist available
Sentiment Cards Online box list
Sheet Music -The music is shelved alphabetically by composer.
-A title index is housed with the collection.
-For lithographed sheet music, there are supplemental indexes to lithographers, titles, and subject. The topical classification for sheet music with pictorial lithographed covers is available online.
Silhouettes Online inventory
Songsters
Through 1830
1831-1840
1831-1877, checklist available
Sound Recordings All
Stereographs Consult the Graphic Arts Department. The collection is arranged geographically by state and city.

 

Collection

Fully Cataloged Online

Some Records Available Online

Digital Access

Notes

Textile Printing Consult the Graphic Arts Department
Tintypes Online inventory
Tracts Most. For a description of uncataloged items, see "notes" Uncataloged tracts include "adult" tracts published by the American Tract Society, the American Sunday School Union, and the American Unitarian Association which date after 1840, as well as tracts for children which were produced by any organization or tract society
Trade Cards
Trade Catalogs Through 1840 1841-1876

 

Collection

Fully Cataloged Online

Some Records Available Online

Digital Access

Notes

U.S. Historic Scenes Online inventory
U.S. Views Online inventory

 

Collection

Fully Cataloged Online

Some Records Available Online

Digital Access

Notes

Western Americana Through 1800; 1821-1840 1801-1820; 1841-1876
Worcester Portrait Prints Online inventory

 

Collection

Fully Cataloged Online

Some Records Available Online

Digital Access

Notes

Yearbooks A checklist in the acquisitions department is arranged both by subject and title

Library Collection Descriptions Arranged Topically

General Collections

Topical Collections

image fully illustrated inventory