Statement of Significance (as of designation - November 24, 1968):
This venerable institution, established in 1812, is the third historical society founded in this country, and the first conceived on a national, rather than a statewide, level. Its third home, this early 20th-century Georgian revival building, is impressive enough, but what it houses is truly remarkable: the single largest collection of printed source material relating to the early history, literature, and culture of the United States. As a noted historian remarked, without these resources, "our knowledge of the origins of this nation would for a long time have been composed of myths and legends. In a sense, the American Antiquarian Society gave us our past."