Arizona Historical Society Libraries and Archives
The Arizona Historical Society’s (AHS) Libraries & Archives Division collects, preserves, and makes available written, graphic and other material concerning Arizona’s history that is of enduring historical and research value. The Libraries & Archives collection is comprised of:
Manuscript collections are papers and records created or gathered by an individual, family or organization. The manuscript collections constitute the core of our research collection and range from the 1860s to the present.
Through the lens of both amateur and professional photographers the Photographic collections document the individuals, landscape, and built environment of Arizona. The collections contain over one million images in a variety of formats, from 19th century daguerreotypes to 21st century digital images.
Individual voices are found in the Oral History collections. Oral History interviews contribute to the historical record by preserving first-hand recollections of participants involved in historic events and those individuals who experiences shaped and in turn were shaped by those events.
The Ephemera collections contain items not originally intended to last beyond their short-term use but now have historical research value. This includes pamphlets, brochures, posters, theater programs, and memorabilia.
The above collections are supplemented by over 30,000 books; 20,000 architectural drawings; 4,000 maps; 1,000 reels of microfilm; in addition, to thousands of items of radio, television and film media.
Library and Archives Locations
Collections are housed in each of the four AHS locations - Flagstaff, Tempe, Tucson, and Yuma. While some overlap exists, each location has a specific geographic and subject focus. We invite you to learn more about the collections, resources and services available at each.
The reference and information tools vary by location. However, the common tools available to researchers are finding aids – guides that describe the origin, background, contents, and arrangement of manuscript and photographic collections; indexes – browseable alphabetical lists of names, places, and topics within a collection; an online catalog - LISTA – containing information on published materials suchs as books and maps.
Index to The Journal of Arizona History
A comprehensive index to Volumes 1-53 of The Journal of Arizona History is available online.
Arizona Memory Project
The Arizona Historical Society has mounted over 600 photographs to the Arizona Memory Project. This online digital repository was established by the Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records. It includes collections from archival and cultural institutions from across the state. AHS has contributed the following exhibits:
- A Celebration of the Human Spirit- Japanese-American Relocation Camps in Arizona
- Arizona Aviation History – The Ruth Reinhold Collection
- Arizona’s Saints and Shady Ladies
- Geronimo! Revered and Reviled!
- Mexican Heritage Project
- Richard Schaus Ranching Collection
- The Bass Photo Collection – Grand Canyon and Colorado Plateau
- This Day in Arizona History
- Tucson Territorial Pioneers
- Western Ways Feature Photographs
Digital images of many early Arizona newspapers are available through two newspaper projects.
Virtual Arizona Experience
The Virtual Arizona Experience commemorates 100 years of statehood and provides a portal to the people, places, and events that defined our past and are shaping our future. The Arizona Historical Society has contributed thousands of images to this statewide initiative.