American Antiquarian Society

The American Antiquarian Society (AAS), located in Worcester, Massachusetts, is both a learned society and national research library of pre-twentieth century American history and culture. Founded in 1812, it is the oldest historical society in the United States with a national focus.[3] Its main building, known as Antiquarian Hall, is a U.S. National Historic Landmark in recognition of this legacy.[4] The mission of the AAS is to collect, preserve and make available for study all printed records of what is now known as the United States of America. This includes materials from the first European settlement through the year 1876.[5]

American Antiquarian Society
CountryUnited States
TypePrivate
Established1812
ArchitectWinslow, Bigelow & Wadsworth
Location185 Salisbury Street,
Worcester, Massachusetts
Coordinates42°16′38″N 71°48′39″W
Branches1
Access and use
Population served1,052 (Membership, 2016)
Other information
DirectorScott E. Casper
Staff45
Websiteamericanantiquarian.org
Map
American Antiquarian Society
Area1.8 acres (7,300 m2)
Built1910
Architectural styleColonial Revival
NRHP reference No.68000018
Significant dates
Added to NRHPNovember 24, 1968[1]
Designated NHLNovember 24, 1968[2]

The AAS offers programs for professional scholars, pre-collegiate, undergraduate and graduate students, educators, professional artists, writers, genealogists, and the general public.[6] AAS has many digital collections available, including "A New Nation Votes: American Election Returns 1788–1824."[7]

The collections of the AAS contain over three million books, pamphlets, newspapers, periodicals, graphic arts materials and manuscripts. The Society is estimated to hold copies of two-thirds of the total books known to have been printed in what is now the United States from the establishment of the first press in 1640 through the year 1820; many of these volumes are exceedingly rare and a number of them are unique.[8] Historic materials from all fifty U.S. states, most of Canada and the British West Indies are included in the AAS repository. One of the more famous volumes held by the Society is a copy of the first book printed in America, the Bay Psalm Book.[9] AAS also has one of the largest collections of newspapers printed in America through 1876, with more than two million issues in its collection.[10]