IAT History

IAT Directors Gather around Peirce monument.

Established in 1975, the Institute of American Thought (IAT) – a research component of the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI—took on its mission (1) the advancement of American thought through textual studies and (2) the promotion of public research and understanding of American thought and culture.

The IAT manages the common activities of several scholarly editions and operates their substantial archival and library holdings. These scholarly editions include the editorial workspaces, internationally recognized research collections, and faculty/staff offices which publish the papers and works and curate the legacies of seminal American thinkers, Ray Bradbury, Frederick Douglass, Charles S. Peirce, Josiah Royce, and George Santayana.

The Institute for American Thought fulfills three essential functions for the programs it serves: administrative and support functions; acquisition and maintenance of expanded centralized space for common administrative, personnel, academic, archival and research resources; and scholarly outreach functions that the individual programs and editions would be hard-pressed to sustain on their own.

Today, the Institute for American Thought continues its vital mission – ensuring that curating and publishing the writings of these authors can continue through pooled resources common to all the editions. The IAT represents many years of careful planning and dedicated work by faculty and administrators within the School of Liberal Arts and continues striving to be a national model for research, teaching, and publication in support of America’s intellectual legacy.