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Sid Lapidus

In 2014, American Antiquarian Society member and longtime chairman of the Society’s governing Council Sidney Lapidus established a generous year-by-year gift fund specifically to enable AAS curators to acquire printed works and manuscripts produced before 1801. This funding stream, which totaled $300,000 over six years, has enabled curators to add 133 additional titles to the Society’s world-renowned collection of early North American and Caribbean newspapers, books, graphics, and manuscripts. The Lapidus Pre-1801 Gift Fund was unquestionably a transformative gift. Most importantly, the historical material that has been added to AAS's collection through the generosity of Sid Lapidus is now preserved and available for researchers and will inform scholarship for generations to come.

Highlights added to the collection include:

  • 23  “Evans 0”* Imprints  
  • 10 Items from Evans Vol. 1 (pre-1730)  
  • 24 Items Only at AAS  
  • 14 Unique Manuscript Collections  
  • The Largest File of Colonial U.S. Newspapers Acquired in 15 Years 
  • 100+ Individual Issues of the Rarest Early Caribbean Newspapers, Many Entirely Unique

This website features two dozen of the most interesting of these recent additions to the American Antiquarian Society's collections purchased using the Lapidus Pre-1801 Gift Fund.


* Charles Evans' American Bibliography listed all the books and pamphlets known to have been published in the U.S. before 1801. In this context, “Evans 0”s are the rarest of the rare - imprints that were not known to exist when Evans' bibliography was written and that also were not included in the later supplement produced by Bristol or the index done by Shipton & Mooney.