Use the Library

Reader in the reading roomThe American Antiquarian Society research library is free and open to anyone over the age of 18 with projects or interests related to our collections. Students under the age of 18 are also welcome to use the library when accompanied by a parent or guardian.

All new AAS library users or readers are required to create an account and present two forms of identification (one bearing a photograph, such as a driver's license or passport) upon their first visit to the library. The account can be created online before the first visit or upon arrival at AAS. New readers receive a brief orientation with a staff member to discuss their research interests and review AAS's reading room policies and procedures, including how to use My Web AAS, our online request system.

Unlike at browsing or lending libraries, AAS library users request materials they would like to read or examine. AAS staff members then deliver the requested items to the reading room. Requested materials may be viewed in the reading room only.

All readers are issued an AAS library card that they should bring with them on every visit. In addition, readers are asked to update their library registration annually.

Please read about accessibility at AAS.

For further questions regarding using the library, please contact Dan Boudreau, Head of Readers’ Services, at 508-471-2171 or


What type of identification is acceptable?

Two forms of identification are required when becoming an AAS library user. One form must bear a photograph, such as a driver’s license or passport. The other form may be a university ID card or library card. To protect readers' privacy, Social Security cards and credit cards are not acceptable forms of identification.

How can I find out if AAS has materials related to my project or interest?

Researchers can determine if AAS has material relevant to their project by searching the general catalog, browsing the collections descriptions, or by contacting the appropriate staff member.

Virtual visitors may browse AAS open-access digital collections.

In addition, free public tours are given every Wednesday at 3:00 pm. Staff members conducting the tours will be happy to answer questions about the collections.

Registration Reading Room Policies Public Tours Private Group Tours and Workshops Directions and Parking

Obtaining Digital Images

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