Mission and Vision

Students and instructors of the 2022 summer seminar standing in front of Antiquarian Hall


The American Antiquarian Society (AAS) cultivates a deeper understanding of the American past, grounded in its ever-growing collection of printed and manuscript sources. The Society fosters a broad community of inquiry through inclusive programs and generous support of scholarship.

Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility

The following is an excerpt from a statement from the American Antiquarian Society Council and staff:

"We recognize that a deeper understanding of the American past must be a more inclusive one. We recognize that the best stewardship of AAS’s unparalleled collections requires us to work to open our doors to readers with diverse perspectives. Innumerable histories remain to be told by researchers—including members of groups historically excluded by intention or custom from AAS’s reading room—who ask new questions, probing the silences in the documents and amplifying the voices unrepresented in the printed and manuscript record. Therefore, the Society has begun an Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility (IDEA) Initiative with the following vision:

To welcome, recruit, support, and empower people of diverse backgrounds and experiences, AAS will confront systemic inequity, racism, and marginalization both within our institution and in the work of collecting, preserving, and sharing America’s and Americans’ diverse stories."

Read the full IDEA Initiative statement, including action priorities

Strategic Plan, 2022-2027

With its first strategic plan in many years, the Society will begin to redefine the meaning of a learned society and independent research library for the mid-twenty-first century. Rooted in a strong belief that the humanities are essential to an understanding not only of this nation’s history, but also human history, the Society begins its work with responsible stewardship of its continuously growing collections, while further enhancing access for all to its holdings and to the broader community of inquiry formed by all who use its resources.

Read the Executive Summary.