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Exhibition Join In: Voluntary Assocations in America

Advancing Knowledge with Periodical Literature

Transactions of the American Philosophical Society. Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society. Volume 1, 1771. Rare Book and Special Collections, Library of Congress (012.00.00)
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Transactions of the American Philosophical Society. Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society. Volume 1, 1771. Rare Book and Special Collections, Library of Congress (012.00.00)
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Advancing Knowledge with Periodical Literature

Benjamin Franklin created the American Philosophical Society (APS) to foster a community in which scientifically-inclined intellectuals from across the colonies could share ideas and discoveries. Although founded in 1743, it did not become active until 1767. By 1771, it began publishing the Transactions of the American Philosophical Society. Issued five times a year, the publication included reports of recent administrative actions and articles mostly on scientific topics. Its purpose was to publicize members’ discoveries and to keep its geographically far-flung membership apprised of its activities. Today, membership in this highly prestigious organization is by election only, and the publication continues to feature important scholarship.