Mission Statement

The American Antiquarian Society (AAS) is both a learned society and national research library of pre-twentieth-century American history and culture. Our mission is to collect, preserve, and make available for study the printed record of what is now the United States of America from first European settlement through the year 1876. As a learned society, we offer a wide variety of programs for diverse audiences, including professional scholars; pre-collegiate, undergraduate, and graduate level students and educators; professional artists and writers; genealogists; and the general public.

The library collections encompass four million books, pamphlets, newspapers, periodicals, graphic arts materials, and manuscripts housed on twenty-five miles of shelving. All fifty U.S. states and a good portion of Canada and the British West Indies are included in this preeminent repository, which was founded in 1812 as the third oldest historical society in the country and the first to be national in scope.

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