About the OAH

Founded in 1907, the Organization of American Historians (OAH) is the largest professional society dedicated to the teaching and study of American history. The mission of the organization is to promote excellence in the scholarship, teaching, and presentation of American history, and to encourage wide discussion of historical questions and the equitable treatment of all practitioners of history.

The OAH is supported through the donations of its membership, income from the annual conference, and the support of Indiana University. The OAH represents more than 7,000 historians working in the U.S. and abroad. Our members include college and university professors, precollegiate teachers, archivists, museum curators, public historians, students, and a variety of scholars employed in government and the private sector.

The mission of the OAH is guided by the following principles.

  • Advancement of scholarship. The OAH advances the teaching and practice of American history through its numerous publications, programs, and initiatives. The organization’s quarterly Journal of American History is the leading scholarly journal in the field. The OAH Distinguished Lectureship Program brings prominent speakers to the public, and the organization’s awards, prizes, and its annual meeting recognize and foster the best historical scholarship.
  • Historical advocacy. The OAH promotes open access to historical resources and scholarship, the exhibition and preservation of artifacts, the discussion of historical questions, and the dissemination of knowledge. We ardently support the respectful and equitable treatment for all practitioners of history. The OAH actively participates in the National Humanities Alliance and the National Coalition for History.
  • Professional integrity. The OAH believes honesty and integrity must be the basis for all historical scholarship. Historians seek truth about the past to provide insight to the present and the future. The OAH condemns any action that undermines this belief. The falsification and deliberate distortion in the teaching of history is an ethical violation of the principle of truth on which the historical profession is based.

Read about the Raintree House, the OAH Headquarters Building