Mission & Vision 

Women of Southern Pacific Railroad

Mission: Connecting people through the power of Arizona’s history.

Vision: The Arizona Historical Society seeks to be the driving force strengthening Arizona’s communities by promoting history through leadership, partnership and scholarship.

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. 

We fulfill our mission to connect people through the power of Arizona’s history by:

  • Collecting, preserving, and providing access to AHS collections and resources.
  • Supporting local historical organizations and museums across the state through the AHS Certified Historical Institutions Program.
  • Publishing The Journal of Arizona History.
  • Sponsoring and coordinating the National History Day program in Arizona for middle and high school students.
  • Providing expanded access to AHS collections and resources through outreach programs, on-site, off-site, and online services.
  • Conducting seminars, lectures, discussions and workshops for students, educators, professionals, local history museums throughout the state, as well as the general public using library, archive, and museum resources.
  • Providing tools and assisting classroom teachers in curriculum development.
  • Collaborating with federal, state and local governments, industry, school districts, and community organizations to strengthen Arizona’s cultural infrastructure.
  • Supports and promotes the Arizona History Convention through the Convention Board.
  • Sponsoring the annual Al Mérito award program to recognize individuals and organizations for achievements in contributing to and promoting Arizona history.
  • Serving on the Arizona Historic Advisory Commission, the Governor’s Awards in Historic Preservation Selection Committee, Arizona Historic Records and Archives Board.
  • Giving annual AHS Research Grants to help fund visiting scholars using our archives

Story of the “X”

The logo for the Arizona Historical Society is the alchemist symbol for copper.

Copper, one of the seven metals of alchemy, has been used by humans for thousands of years. A forerunner of modern chemistry, alchemy was an ancient practice that ignited imaginations with the belief that ordinary objects – like lead – could be transformed into something extraordinary – like gold.

A superb conductor of heat and electricity, copper played an important role in the development of the modern world. As one of the famous 5 C’s of Arizona, copper mining was, and continues to be, a major factor in the economic development of the state.

The Arizona Historical Society first used the alchemy copper symbol in 1956, when it appeared on the cover of one of the Society’s first publications. In 1960, the symbol appeared on AHS letterhead, and in January 1962 it appeared on the title page of Arizoniana, the forerunner of the Journal of Arizona History

Nicknamed “the bug” – with a nod to the alchemists of the past, it reflects our values of innovation and revitalization while staying grounded to our heritage of copper’s role in our state’s history.

Arizona Historical Society