The AHA’s mission to enhance the work of historians also encompasses professional standards and ethics, innovative scholarship and teaching, academic freedom, and international collaboration.

The American Historical Association provides leadership for the discipline and promotes the critical role of historical thinking in public life. The Association defends academic freedom, develops professional standards, supports innovative scholarship and teaching, and helps to sustain and enhance the work of historians.


Much of the policy and work of the American Historical Association is done through our Council, divisions (Professional, Research, and Teaching), and committees. The primary governing body of the Association is the Council, whose members are elected annually by the AHA membership. The Council cares for the general interests of the Association by conducting business, setting policy, and overseeing the financial and legal matters of the organization. The work of the Association is governed by the AHA Constitution (which lays out the basic structure for the organization), and bylaws (which describe how the organization functions).

AHA History

The AHA was founded in 1884 and incorporated by Congress in 1889.

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