In Pursuit of a Vision: Two Centuries of Collecting at the American Antiquarian Society

In the early days of the American Antiquarian Society, founder Isaiah Thomas asked members to send materials for preservation in the Society's library at Worcester, Massachusetts. He explained, "We cannot obtain a knowledge of those who are to come after us, nor are we certain what will be the events of future times; as it is in our power, so it should be our duty to bestow on posterity that which they cannot give to us, but which they may enlarge and improve and transmit to those who shall succeed them." Over the course of two hundred years, generations of the Society's members, friends, and staff have ably answered Thomas's call. This exhibition celebrates the generosity and farsightedness of some of the many collectors, book dealers, and librarians who have, each in his or her own way, contributed to the greatness of AAS.

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