Established by an Act of the First Territorial Legislature on November 7, 1864, the Arizona Historical Society (AHS) is Arizona’s oldest historical agency. Architects of the Territory’s code of laws realized they were making history and that it was important to preserve a record of their activities. One of their earliest actions was to create the means for documenting the past and recording contemporary events as they unfolded. This became the Arizona Historical Society, formed to collect and preserve “all facts relating to the history of this Territory.”
Today we operate museums in Flagstaff, Tempe and Tucson with the mission of: Connecting people through the power of Arizona's history. The Arizona Historical Society (AHS) is proud to serve as the steward of Arizona’s history. Our collections broadly represent Arizona history that offers a one-of-a-kind resource for Arizona history. Our artifact and manuscript holdings offer unique opportunities for public programming, educational outreach, and exhibitions, as well as academic and community-based research. AHS collections provide premier resources for recounting Arizona’s past, and they are invaluable tools for promoting public understanding of contemporary issues such as water availability, immigration, free trade, mining, ranching and agribusiness, the defense industry, cultural diversity, and urban development and revitalization.