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, AHS serves as the steward of state and regional history, fulfilling its mission to collect, preserve, interpret, and disseminate the history of Arizona, the West, and northern Mexico as it pertains to Arizona. Collections, housed in AHS museum facilities throughout the state, number in excess of three million objects. The Society’s artifact and manuscript holdings offer unrivaled opportunities for public programming, educational outreach, and exhibitions, as well as academic and community-based research. AHS collections not only provide premier resources for recounting Arizona’s past, but 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. The Arizona Historical Society -- through its exhibits, programs, publications, and outreach -- informs and inspires people of all ages by reminding them of the boldness and daring that characterized countless individuals, past and present, who have made Arizona their home.