American Antiquarian Society

Worcester, MA   |  www.americanantiquarian.org

Mission

Founded in 1812 by patriot printer Isaiah Thomas, AAS welcomes, recruits, supports, and empowers people of all backgrounds and experiences to participate in collecting, preserving, and sharing America’s and Americans’ diverse stories. In more than two centuries of collecting, AAS has accumulated more than four million items, including books, pamphlets, broadsides, newspapers, periodicals, manuscripts, and other materials dating from the earliest European settlement of North America through the nineteenth century. The Society makes these collections available to researchers both in its reading room and digitally and organizes virtual and onsite programs for diverse audiences from its home in Worcester, Massachusetts. Stewardship of AAS’s collection is vested in its elected membership.

Ruling year info

1929

Principal Officer

Dr. Scott E. Casper

Main address

185 Salisbury Street

Worcester, MA 01609 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

04-2103652

NTEE code info

Historical Societies and Related Activities (A80)

Libraries, Library Science (B70)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Academic Programs and Fellowships

AAS offers three broad categories of visiting research fellowships, with tenures ranging from one to twelve months: long-term academic research fellowships; short-term academic research fellowships; and fellowships for creative and performing artists and writers. In a typical year, 45 to 50 fellows past through AAS. Each year, the Society invites a senior scholar to serve as the Andrew W. Mellon Distinguished Scholar in Residence. Each fall, the American Studies seminar draws together a select group of undergraduate students from five four-year colleges in Worcester to work with a visiting faculty member and conduct primary source research in the AAS collections. In addition, the Center for Historic American Visual Culture and Program in the History of the Book in American Culture foster research and intellectual exchange in their respective areas.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Academics
Artists and performers

The Society has developed a series of workshops on various aspects of American history that are offered to educators locally, regionally, and nationally. These programs, which are offered both on-site and by using facsimiles at off-campus locations and online, include intensive examinations of selected AAS materials that are particularly pertinent to educators' needs. In 2014, AAS launched a major new online teaching initiative: the Isaiah Thomas-Patriot Printer digital suite. The program will focus on the life and times of Isaiah Thomas, the founder of the American Antiquarian Society. Thomas was a key player in the American Revolution, and after the war became America's foremost printer, publisher, and collector of the written record of the nation's founding. "Digital Isaiah" will consist of six modules, each centered on a main historical document that was significant to Thomas's life and its importance in the development of the early United States.

Population(s) Served
Adults

The Society produces 8-12 free public programs each year including lectures, musical and dramatic performances, and reading/discussion groups. These free programs are all based upon the time period and scope of the Society's collections and often include presentations by fellows, readers, and members. The annual Robert C. Baron Lecture asks distinguished AAS members who have written seminal works of history to reflect on one book within the AAS collections and its impact on scholarship and society in the years since its first appearance.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Where we work

Awards

National Humanities Medal 2014

National Endowment for the Humanities

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

AAS aims to fulfill its mission: to collect, organize, preserve, and make available for use the printed and manuscript materials that record all aspects of the history of what are now the United States, Canada, and the former English colonies of the West Indies from the time of first settlement by the Europeans through 1876. In order to foster a widely shared knowledge of our national past, the Society also provides services for research and publication and sponsors educational programs that are founded upon its collections.

AAS endeavors to actively acquire and build our collections, making them available in as many formats as possible, disseminating them as broadly as possible to as many audiences as possible for the national good.

AAS currently has the greatest collection of colonial and early 19th-c American printed materials in existence, and we are adding to them at an unprecedented level. We have longstanding partnerships with digital publishers to make these resources available to the broadest possible audiences.

Financials

American Antiquarian Society
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
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American Antiquarian Society

Board of directors
as of 10/29/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Mr. Sid Lapidus

Retired

Term: 2016 - 2017


Board co-chair

Mr. John Herron

Herron Farms, LLC

Term: 2016 - 2017

James Donnelly

Mirick O'Connell, LLC

Richard Brown

University of Connecticut

William Reese

William S. Reese Co.

George Tetler

Bowditch & Dewey, LLP

Richard Brown

Northaven Management, Inc.

J. Collins

Mirick O'Connell, LLC

Robert Bachelder

Worcester Area Mission Society

Robert Gross

University of Connecticut

Samuel Kenary

Morgan Stanley - The Kenary Group

Margaretta Lovell

University of California, Berkeley

Edwin Schroeder

Yale University

Carla Peterson

University of Maryland

Elizabeth Reilly

Independent Scholar

John Stowe

Lutco, Inc.

Richard Thaler

Lieutenant Island Partners, LLC.

Ellen Dunlap

American Antiquarian Society

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? No
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? No
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No