About the AFS Archives

The Archives of the American Field Service and AFS Intercultural Programs (AFS Archives) is the official repository for material related to the history and development of the organization that is now referred to as AFS Intercultural Programs, Inc.

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AFS History

AFS Intercultural Programs began as the American Ambulance Field Service, a volunteer ambulance corps created in April 1915 by A. Piatt Andrew. Learn about how AFS was transformed from a wartime humanitarian aid organization into a groundbreaking international secondary school exchange, volunteer, and intercultural learning organization in our timeline!

View our Timeline

Accessing the Archives

Dylan examining film February 2016

The AFS Archives contains more than 500 cubic feet of unique documents, photographs, memorabilia, and audio-visual material dating from as early as 1915, when AFS was founded as a volunteer ambulance corps in France. The collections are organized into four chronological record groups.

View our collection list

AFS Janus

Read our bi-yearly, highly-anticipated publication containing exciting stories from the history and present-day activities of the organization.

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Discover the World with AFS – Banner

Item of the Month: March 2017

Discover the World with AFS, 1976-1986

The AFS office in Ghana is celebrating its 50th Anniversary this year! From 1967 to 1997, AFS Ghana hosted 163 participants and sent 410 of their students abroad. The unique poster depicted above was designed by Mr. Teye Obahi Akunor, an AFS Participant from Ghana to Switzerland in 1975-1976. To create the poster…

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The Volunteers: Americans Join World War I, 1914-1919 Curriculum

Encourage secondary school students worldwide to become global citizens and engage them with unique primary sources through our free secondary school curriculum about the history of World War I volunteerism.

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Stories from the Stacks

Stay updated with exciting projects and newly-digitized collections in the AFS Archives!
Major Ward B. Chamberlin, 1945.  Photograph by Irving Penn

Ward B. Chamberlin, Jr, 1921-2017: Volunteer, Broadcaster, and Changemaker

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Art in Damascus

“A burning desire to do what one could”: Archiving Arthur Howe Jr.’s Collection

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A. Piatt Andrew and Stephen Galatti

AFS receives C. Herbert Finch Online Publication Award

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1_002_1F_14 top

Photographs in the AFS Archives: Friends of France

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Support the AFS Archives

As a non-profit repository, the AFS Archives depends upon the generous support of its friends in order to continue documenting the history of AFS and offering the highest standards available to the researching public. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation by selecting the “Donate Here” option and directing your donation to the “AFS Archives” in the drop-down menu.

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The AFS Archives is open for research by appointment only. Please contact us here:

Archival Inquiries

  • If you are requesting an in-house research appointment, please include a list of archival collections needed for research, the type of project and outcome (such as if this will result in a publication), and the reason for an on-site visit. Please note that the AFS Archives does not maintain a database with current contact information for AFS alumni, so we are unable to help with these requests.
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Banner image and video: American Ambulance Field Service volunteers loading an ambulance in Alsace in 1915; Scenes from the "Our Friend France" World War I promotional film. All items are courtesy of the Archives of the American Field Service and AFS Intercultural Programs, and cannot be reproduced outside the guidelines of U.S. Fair Use ( (17 U.S.C.,Section 107) without advance permission.