The Archives of the American Dental Association, located within the ADA Library, contains the organization’s historical records and publications.
The archivist is the ADA staff person who answers questions concerning the history of the organization, the dental profession and the people involved in its development and history.
The archivist welcomes biographical and historical questions on dentistry from both members and the public. Call the archivist at 800-621-8099 for more information on a historical topic or person in dental history.
ADA Archives Collection and Resources
Do You Have a Question on the History of the ADA or Dentistry?
Ask the Archivist!
Collections within the Archives include historical publications and records of the ADA such as the organization’s annual meeting transactions and proceedings as well as newsletters, journals, pamphlets, and brochures distributed by any ADA department since its founding.
The ADA Archives also keeps files of biographical information on individual dentists and other people involved in the dental profession and important to the history of dentistry.
Visit the History and Presidents of the ADA
page on ADA.org and gain access to a timeline of past presidents
, timeline of ADA history
and a history of dentistry timeline
Items of interest in the ADA Archives include:
- Council meeting records such as minutes, agenda, manuals, lists of significant or major actions
- Photographs/slides of ADA events, members, and staff
- ADA sponsored dental conference proceedings, programs, etc.
- Programs, proceedings of ADA affairs/events
- Final reports of projects, programs, studies, surveys, etc.
- Objects/artifacts of historical interest or inscribed with ADA or names of ADA people
- Speeches & papers of ADA officers
- Biographical info re dentists, dental professionals, ADA officers (resumes, obits, etc.)
As well as these types of publications created and distributed by any ADA agency:
- Promotional/publicity literature
History Reference Service
The archivist can help answer inquiries regarding all aspects of the history of dentistry.
We can assemble a package of journal articles on almost any topic concerning the history of dentistry or provide information on individual dentists or people involved in the dental profession and its history.
We charge $20.00 ($30.00 for nonmembers) per question for information on historical topics concerning dentistry and the dental profession. You will receive a packet of photocopies of 2-8 articles (depending on the availability of the information on any given topic) of no more than 50 pages concerning the topic. In some cases you may receive less articles/pages depending on what has been published on the topic.
We prefer advance payment by credit card but we also will accept a check (drawn from an U.S. bank). If you wish to pay with a credit card, we accept MasterCard, Visa or American Express. Since credit card information is not secure via e-mail, we ask that you call the Archivist directly to submit a credit card order at 800-621-8099.
Genealogy and Biography Reference Service
We can provide information on individual dentists and people involved in the dental profession.
We charge $20.00 ($30.00 for nonmembers) per name to search for information on individual dentists/people involved in the dental profession. You will receive a written report on the findings including photocopies of obituaries and other biographical information located during the search via either the post or e-mail.
The ADA does not keep records or files on individual dentists or members. In order to find information on an individual the Archivist conducts a literature search of dental periodicals and publications available at the ADA Library. This includes (but is not limited to): tracing the dentist’s name through dental directories dated 1898-1928 and 1947-present for addresses and educational particulars; a search of major dental journals for an obituary or death announcement; and a search through the Index to Dental Literature for articles concerning the life and work of the individual published in dental journals since 1839. It is not always possible to find an obituary, death notice or biographical information for an individual. The publication of an obituary and/or information depends on various factors including the year of death (the earlier the more likely one was published in the dental literature) and how involved the individual was in the profession and organized dentistry.
We prefer advance payment by credit card but we also will accept a check (drawn from an U.S. bank). If you wish to pay with a credit card, we accept MasterCard, Visa or American Express. Since credit card information is not secure via e-mail, we ask that you call the Archivist directly to submit a credit card order at