About APA Archives

Mission Statement

The history of American psychology is inextricably linked to the history of the American Psychological Association. The stated mission of APA is to advance the creation, communication and application of psychological knowledge to benefit society and improve people’s lives. In order to document the development of the field of psychology in America, our mission is to collect, maintain and preserve the records and information of permanent historical value of the association and its affiliates. Through this documentation, we find guidance from both our successes and our failures.

The archives serves the research and reference use of the Central Office staff, association members and qualified researchers. We promote the mission of the American Psychological Association to advance psychology as a science, as a profession and as a means of promoting human welfare.

In carrying out its mission, the association archives:

  • Serves as the official depository of all appropriate association records.

  • Consults with appropriate association offices to determine administrative, financial, legal and historical records preservation needs within the association.

  • Develops, maintains and distributes guidelines for association offices to follow for the disposition of records.

  • Consults with division offices of the association for the determination of appropriate archival documents of those offices and serves as the official repository for said documents.

  • Appraises accessions, arranges, describes and preserves records transferred to its custody while providing access to its holdings, in accordance with accepted professional archival principles.

  • Generates and provides historically grounded analyses of association functions to Central Office staff and members when appropriate.

  • Collects and maintains books of historical importance in the development of psychology as a science and a profession.

  • Cooperates with state and national archival, historical and records management professional organizations on behalf of the association to keep informed on major issues of concern to the profession and participates in networking arrangements to share resources with other research institutions.