Welcome to The Academy of American Franciscan History!

The Academy of American Franciscan History is a research institute affiliated with the Franciscan School of Theology in Oceanside, California.

We are dedicated to the encouragement of the study of the Franciscan Order in the Americas primarily through the publication of monographs, documents, a scholarly journal, as well as sponsoring seminars, conferences, and public lectures.



Since its founding in 1943, the Academy has published over forty volumes, all dealing with the history of the Franciscans in the Americas. Its publications include numerous monographs on topics of American Franciscan history as well as definitive editions of the writings of American Franciscan missionaries, such as Junípero Serra, Fermín Francisco de Lasuén, Francisco Palóu, Toribio de Motolinía, and others. Follow this link to the Bookstore.

The Academy’s quarterly journal, The Americas, has been one of the leading journals of Latin American History since its inception in 1944. It publishes articles and reviews books on the history of all geographical regions of the Americas throughout their rich history. The editorial offices are located in the Department of History at Drexel University in Philadelphia.

In 1989 the Academy moved from Washington, D.C., to Berkeley, Calif. The Academy is part of the Franciscan School of Theology, once part of the Graduate Theological Union. The new location affords scholars ready access to the extensive holdings of the Bancroft Library of the University of California. In 2013, the Franciscan School of Theology moved to Oceanside, Calif., and is now housed on the campus of Mission San Luis Rey. This means that the Mission Archives of Old Mission Santa Barbara are only a few hours away.

The Academy Library is divided into two sections: The collection of books, periodicals and reference works [approximately 10,000 volumes in all] is presently housed in the Washington Theological Union, near Takoma Park, in the District of Columbia. The rare books, manuscripts, Tibesar pamphlet collection, and photoreproductions [microfilm and photocopies] held by the Academy are housed in Berkeley.

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Contact the Academy

Academy of American Franciscan History
4050 Mission Ave.
Oceanside CA 92057

Dr. Jeffery M. Burns, Director

Dr. John F. Schwaller

General Information