The American Philosophical Society, founded by Benjamin Franklin in 1743, proudly bears the title of the nation's oldest learned society.  Our founders participated in the birth of American democracy. It pains us greatly that all these years later, our nation's promise has yet to be fulfilled.  We join all Americans of good will in deploring the senseless murder of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis police. Over these past months the Society has hosted a number of virtual programs.  Even as we now resume our work with the offering of new programs, our attention remains focused on the senseless loss of innocent lives and our commitment to the difficult, necessary conversations and actions we must all take to begin to ensure that such tragedies end. Read more about virtual programming and resources that can be accessed remotely. Read more about the APS response to COVID-19.

Educator Resources

Educators at an event

PLEASE NOTE: the APS Library & Museum is currently closed due to COVID-19. We will update this page when more information on the Library & Museum's reopening is available. 

The Society’s exceptional collection numbers over 13 million manuscripts, objects, books, images, and works of art. Topics covered include early American and Revolutionary history, 18th and 19th century natural history, American Indian linguistics and culture, nuclear physics, computer development, medical science, genetics and eugenics, and the development of cultural anthropology in America.

Ways to Interact

Visit the Museum

Hours: Thursday–Sunday, 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.. 
Other times by appointment. To arrange a school or group visit, see here. Please request exhibition tours or school programs at least two weeks in advance. 

Exhibition-specific educator and classroom resources coming soon!

Visit the Archive

Use of the archival materials requires an appointment. This website will help you navigate how to set up a research appointment and what you need to prepare in advance.

Virtual Offerings

Many of the APS Library’s manuscripts and images have been digitized; this website will allow you to explore those pieces of the collection.

This page contains an archive of several years of online exhibitions and resources compiled by the APS, many topics might be of interest to educators and National History Day participants.

These digital projects created through the APS's Center for Digital Scholarship offer new ways to interact with material in the APS collections. 

This page is for those curious about the practice of letter writing before, in, and after the 18th century.

Learn about edits to the Declaration of Independence, from when they happened to what they mean. 

Explore the careers and people that make the APS what it is! 

An immersive and sensory lesson on the 1793 yellow fever epidemic. 

Contact Us

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