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The American Antiquarian Society
American Antiquarian Society
(AAS), located in Worcester, Massachusetts, is both a learned society and national research library of pre-twentieth century American history
American history
and culture. Founded in 1812, it is the oldest historical society in the United States
United States
with a national focus.[3] Its main building, known as Antiquarian Hall, is a U.S. National Historic Landmark
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
United States
of America. This includes materials from the first European settlement through the year 1876.[5] 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
British West Indies
are included in the AAS repository. One of the more famous volumes held by the Society is a copy of the very 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]

Contents

1 History 2 History of printing 3 Notable members 4 See also 5 References 6 Further reading 7 External links

History[edit] On the initiative of Isaiah Thomas, the AAS was founded on October 24, 1812, through an act of the Massachusetts
Massachusetts
General Court.[11] It was the third historical society established in America, and the first to be national in its scope.[4] Isaiah Thomas started the collection with approximately 8,000 books from his personal library.[12] The first library building was erected in 1820 in downtown Worcester, Massachusetts.[13] In 1853, the Society moved its collections to a larger building at the corner of Highland Street, also in Worcester.[14] This building was later abandoned and another new building was constructed. Designed by Winslow, Bigelow & Wadsworth, the Georgian Revival building was completed in 1910 and stands on the corner of Park Avenue and Salisbury Street. There have been several additions to this building to accommodate the growing collection, the most recent of which was completed in 2003.[15] AAS was presented with the 2013 National Humanities Medal by President Obama in a ceremony at the White House.[16] History of printing[edit] As part of AAS's mission as a learned society, it offers a variety of public lectures and seminars. One topic to which AAS dedicates significant academic energies is printing technology, especially in eighteenth-century British North America. Since Isaiah Thomas was a newspaper man himself, he collected a large number of printed materials.[17] With regard to printing, paper making, edition setting, and reprinting, not much had changed in European technology by the eighteenth century. It was not until the late eighteenth century that paper-making material began to evolve from a hand-woven cloth to an industrial pulp. AAS undertakes special efforts to preserve printed records from this time period, as the Society maintains an on-site conservation department with various sewing, cloth, and binding materials to aid in the preservation process.[18] Notable members[edit]

Isaiah Thomas, the founder of the American Antiquarian Society

The American Antiquarian Society's membership includes scholars, writers, journalists, filmmakers, collectors, and civic leaders.[19] Notable members include the following individuals:

Benjamin Abbot John Adams John Quincy Adams Herman Vandenburg Ames Roald Amundsen Ken Burns Jimmy Carter Bill Clinton Calvin Coolidge Walter Cronkite Moses Fisk Esther Forbes Henry Louis Gates Annette Gordon-Reed Rutherford B. Hayes Washington Irving Andrew Jackson Thomas Jefferson Jill Lepore James Madison Louis Masur David McCullough James Monroe Nathaniel Philbrick Franklin Pierce Rice Franklin D. Roosevelt Theodore Roosevelt William H. Taft Woodrow Wilson

See also[edit]

Massachusetts
Massachusetts
portal

Books in the United States History of books List of antiquarian societies Massachusetts
Massachusetts
Historical Society John Ratcliff List of National Historic Landmarks in Massachusetts National Register of Historic Places
National Register of Historic Places
listings in northwestern Worcester, Massachusetts

References[edit]

^ National Park Service
National Park Service
(2007-01-23). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.  ^ "American Antiquarian Society". National Historic Landmark
National Historic Landmark
summary listing. National Park Service. Retrieved 2008-07-10.  ^ Gura, Philip F. The American Antiquarian Society, 1812–2012: A Bicentennial History (Worcester: American Antiquarian Society, 2012) p. x ^ a b http://tps.cr.nps.gov/nhl/detail.cfm?ResourceId=775&ResourceType=Building ^ aasmaster (March 28, 2017). "Mission Statement". Retrieved December 22, 2017.  ^ aaswebsite (August 25, 2012). "Programs & Events". Retrieved December 22, 2017.  ^ aaswebsite (August 25, 2012). "Digital AAS". Retrieved December 22, 2017.  ^ aasmaster (October 2, 2012). "Tours". Retrieved December 22, 2017.  ^ Gura, p. 24 ^ aasmaster (October 22, 2012). "Newspapers". Retrieved December 22, 2017.  ^ Gura, p. 1 ^ Gura, p. 33 ^ Gura, p. 32 ^ Gura, pp. 98-99 ^ "Development Department of the American Antiquarian Society". www.americanantiquarian.org. Retrieved December 22, 2017.  ^ "President Obama Awards 2013 National Humanities Medals". National Endowment for the Humanities. Retrieved December 22, 2017.  ^ Gura, pp. 14, 33 ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on November 16, 2010. Retrieved June 13, 2011.  ^ aasmaster (February 28, 2018). "Members Directory". Retrieved February 28, 2018. 

Further reading[edit]

Goslow, Brian (January 30, 2014). "Worcester's best kept secret: The American Antiquarian Society
American Antiquarian Society
belongs to everyone". Worcester Magazine. Archived from the original on October 17, 2014. Retrieved October 10, 2014.  Gura, Philip F. The American Antiquarian Society, 1812–2012: A Bicentennial History (Worcester: American Antiquarian Society, 2012) 454 pp. Proceedings of the American Antiquarian Society. Worcester, Mass.: the Society, 1843–

External links[edit]

American Antiquarian Society
American Antiquarian Society
Homepage Common-Place free online scholarly history journal focused on early US Republic

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