About Local Societies
Local Societies are independent organizations created and managed by AIA members to advance the Institute’s mission of promoting public understanding and appreciation of archaeology and our shared humanity within local communities. Societies are the backbone of the AIA and reflect the Institute’s unique character as an organization that welcomes both professionals and interested avocational members. At the heart of every Local Society is the locally planned programs—field trips, local tours, symposia, film festivals, lectures, study groups and more. For members, participation in society programs is an important aspect of their involvement with archaeology and the AIA.
In addition to organizing and presenting local outreach programs, Societies participate in and promote the AIA’s national and international initiatives like the annual lecture program and International Archaeology Day celebrations. Today the AIA has over 100 chartered Local Societies and several more in-formation across the United States, Canada, and abroad.
Society organization, activities, and programs vary depending on size, location, and available resources. The AIA website, www.archaeological.org/societies, lists all of the Local Societies and provides a contact for each one. Many societies maintain their own website and/or Facebook page and links to these are also provided on the AIA website. Visiting the AIA’s Society webpages is the best way to find out what Local Societies are doing.
At the AIA executive level, the Vice President for Societies oversees the Local Societies and is assisted by the Society Trustees who are members of the AIA Governing Board and the Societies Committee. These groups work together to review the AIA’s programs and benefits for Local Societies and recommend to the Governing Board and the President ways of improving membership benefits and resources that in turn support the aims and best interests of Society members and the Institute as a whole. The Committee, comprised of active participants from several AIA Societies, also monitors society membership, lecture attendance, and programs and encourages, mentors, and aids the societies to be effective in furthering the AIA’s mission.