Educational Institutions

The American Antiquarian Society maintains four discrete collections which contain materials relating to individual educational institutions. Three of these, Colleges, Schools, and Fraternities collections, include materials published in the United States from 1821-1876, as well as secondary sources published through the present. Materials related to education published in North America prior to 1821 are included in the Dated Books and Dated Pamphlets Collection. The fourth collection, Foreign Colleges, includes material published outside the United States through 1876, as well as secondary sources.

The Colleges collection incorporates both the official publications of specific institutions of higher education and works about colleges and universities. The bulk of the collection is presently made up of nearly 6,000 college catalogs. Other materials in this collection include: president's reports, alumni catalogs, histories, obituaries, class reports, registers, calendars and programs. Materials pertaining to individual chapters of fraternal organizations also form part of this collection, filed with the college with which the chapter is affiliated. Many early college publications can also be found in the Broadsides collection. The Society has a limited number of foreign colleges materials, comprised of histories and alumni registers for colleges and universities in Canada, Great Britain and Liberia.

The Schools collection encompasses pre-collegiate educational institutions in the United States, including schools, academies and some seminaries. The collection includes publications comparable to those in the Colleges collection. The bulk of the collection is presently made up of nearly 3,000 school catalogs. At present, materials relating to female seminaries may be found both in the Colleges and Schools collections, and researchers are advised to check both collections for relevant materials.

The Fraternities collection includes a little over 100 items relating to the national chapters of American academic fraternal organizations, primarily histories and catalogs of members. As mentioned above, the histories and records of individual chapters of a fraternity are filed in the Colleges collection. The Fraternities collection does not incorporate materials related to non-academic fraternal orders, such as the Freemasons.


The Colleges, Schools, and Fraternities collections are fully cataloged online in the General Catalog.

To search in the Colleges collection use the call number "College?" and add other keywords or limits by date or place of publication to generate a more manageable list. All College catalogs are cataloged in the General Catalog under the genre term "college catalogs."

All items in the Schools collection may be found in the General Catalog under the call number "school." School catalogs are cataloged in the General Catalog under the genre term "school catalogs."

Fraternities materials are cataloged in the General Catalog under the call number "fraternities."


The Student, Teacher, and Trustee Database Project, 1800-1900 is an index containing nearly three-quarters of a million entries of students, teachers, and trustees whose names appear in the Society's holdings of colleges and schools catalogs. There are over 330 colleges and schools indexed to date with over 2,600 individual catalogs indexed.

Quick Links

Catalog | Login | Digital A-Z


Monday: 9-5
Tuesday: 10-5
Wednesday: 9-5
Thursday: 9-5
Friday: 9-5

Keep in Touch

Link to AAS Facebook Link to AAS TwitterLink to AAS BlogLink to AAS Instagram   Link to AAS YouTube