Alcoholics Anonymous started in 1935. Many spiritual concepts came from The Oxford Groups. Medical information came from Dr Silkworth and others. It continues to grow and other Twelve Step organizations have been started using the same principles.

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An 1878 View of The Washingtonians
Article from book "The Temperance Reform and its Great Reformers." The Washingtonians was an early predecessor of AA which faded away.
An A.A. History Archive
A collection of articles and letters relating to the early history of Alcoholics Anonymous.
A.A. History Buffs
Collection of articles and resources by various AA historians including moderator Nancy Olson. Forum was replaced in 2002 by "A.A. History Lovers" due to a technical problem.
A.A. History Lovers
A discussion group for those interested in the history of Alcoholics Anonymous. Replaced the earlier History Buffs group.
AA Grapevine on Early Groups
Collection of articles 1944-48 about activities of groups as they formed. Complete Grapevine text. From the History Lovers archives. ["Next" "Previous" scrolls more]
AA History and Trivia
A sober web site for recovering alcoholics. Questions and answers on AA History and other fun for members of Alcoholics Anonymous and their friends.
AA History from
Scores of articles, letters, and pictures about the development of Alcoholics Anonymous.
AA Holy Grail - Big Book Master Copy
New owner of draft manuscript of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous will make it available for AA historians and researchers. Many editing notations show suggested changes that were and were not made.
AA Original Manuscript Up for Auction
Final marked-up manuscript of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous sold at auction. History group participant describes some significant edits that had been considered.
Alcoholics Anonymous History in Oceania
Includes a map showing all the islands in this Pacific region.
Alcoholics Anonymous History in Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands
A Brief History of A.A. in Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands (Oceania), including meeting information.
Alcoholics Anonymous in Bristol and the West of England
Brief history of how AA came to Bristol, England, and spread from there.
Australian AA History
Tells of the start and growth of Alcoholics Anonymous in Australia (1942 thru 1999).
Big Book Early Manuscript
This early draft of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous was written before the manuscript that was distributed for review.
Bill W Obituary
New York Times News Service article on the passing of A.A. co-founder Bill W on Sunday, January 24, 1971.
Bill's Original Story
This early draft of Bill's Story differed substantially from the final version that appeared in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous.
The Care of Alcoholics
A 1951 article by Sister Ignatia about how she and Dr Bob and other A.A. members worked together at St Thomas Hospital in Akron, Ohio. One ward was dedicated to the work of Alcoholics Anonymous.
Catholic Asceticism and the Twelve Steps
Father Ed Dowling 1953 article gives a Catholic view of Alcoholics Anonymous. Compares it to the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius.
Christian or Occult Roots?
The authors suggest that AA did not originate in Christianity since it has never required members to believe in Christ crucified.
Circle and Triangle Logo
What happened to the triangle in the circle? History of why this symbol was removed from Alcoholics Anonymous publications in 1993.
Contempt Prior to Investigation
William Paley, not Herbert Spencer, wrote about "contempt prior to investigation [examination]" as mis-attributed in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. Research by Michael StGeorge in "Survival of a Fitting Quotation." [Also available as PDF]
Diagnostic Criteria for Alcohol Abuse and Dependence
Formal definitions of alcoholism, alcohol abuse, and alcohol dependence are updated over time. This paper follows them from Jellinek's 1941 work to today's DSM-IV criteria.
Dr Harry Tiebout Papers
Dr. Harry M. Tiebout, a psychiatrist, was an early supporter of Alcoholics Anonymous. These papers are an important part of A.A. history.
Dr. Robert Smith Archives at Brown University
The collection of correspondence, meeting notes and books of Alcoholics Anonymous co-founder Dr. Robert H. Smith has been acquired by Brown University and will be made available to researchers interested in the origins of 12-step recovery programs.
Early A.A. Growth
Posting from AA History Lovers summarizes sources of information about growth of earliest groups.
First Edition Big Book Stories
List of stories and authors in First (1939), Second (1955), and Third (1975) Editions of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. Complete text of all First Edition stories including one from the draft manuscript (1938) not in the published book.
For Drunks Only
Preface to "For Drunks Only" gives history of that book as well as the popular "Twenty-Four Hours a Day" meditation book.
The History of Alcoholics Anonymous
Historical writings, documents, letters, events, people, places and references through-out the history of Alcoholics Anonymous.
In AA's First Five Years
An AA Grapevine article from 1967 by Lois W offers a bit of Alcoholics Anonymous history including how Al-Anon was started.
The Jack Alexander Article
"Alcoholics Anonymous" by Jack Alexander, Saturday Evening Post, March 1, 1941. This resulted in a major growth of AA.
The Lord's Prayer
Letter from AA co-founder Bill W about the custom of using this prayer to close an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting.
A Manual for Alcoholics Anonymous - 1940
A Manual for Alcoholics Anonymous From AA Group No. 1, Akron, Ohio, 1940 - Dr. Bob's Home Group
Oxford Group Books
PDF downloads of "Soul Surgery" and "What Is the Oxford Group?" and "I Was a Pagan." Alcoholics Anonymous is a descendent of the Oxford Groups.
People in AA History
An interwoven web of the people mentioned in Alcoholics Anonymous literature, who they are and how they fit in
Photographs from AA History
A collection from the early days of Alcoholics Anonymous with a few more recent pictures.
Pioneers of Alcoholics Anonymous (1934 - 1939)
List of those who achieved some degree of sobriety in Alcoholics Anonymous prior to publication of the Big Book. AA groups were in Akron, New York, and Cleveland at the time.
Plain Dealer
Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper articles on Alcoholics Anonymous. Elrick Davis, October 1939. Took AA beyond mere word of mouth.
Preserving the History of Alcoholics Anonymous
Describes the Kirk Collection on AA at Brown University. Includes history of colonial and revolutionary temperance movements, Prohibition and repeal, and more modern studies of alcohol and alcoholism that emphasize Alcoholics Anonymous.
The Serenity Prayer - Origins In England and Germany
The Serenity Prayer is often attributed to Reinhold Niebuhr. This article in "Respectfully Quoted" traces it to 14th England and 18th century Germany.
Silkworth Writings
The writings, articles, letters and documents of Dr. William Duncan Silkworth, M.D. -also known as Silky.
Some Early Sobriety Mementos
Photos of some early tokens marking various periods of sobriety in AA. These led to the chips that some groups still use today.
Stepping Stones
Historic home of Bill and Lois Wilson, co-founders of Alcoholics Anonymous and Al-Anon. Bedford Hills part of Katonah, New York. Tour the grounds and museum. Volunteer. Donate. By the Stepping Stones Foundation.
Success Rates in Early A.A.
Alcoholics Anonymous still works for alcoholics who want to stop drinking and who really try. Numbers look different because early AA prescreened candidates. Examples.
Sue Smith Windows Memorial Book
Obituary and funeral card of the daughter of Doctor Bob, co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous. February 15, 1918 to February 9, 2002.
The Survival of a Fitting Quotation
Researcher traces the origin of the "contempt prior to investigation" quote to William Paley (1743-1845). The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous credited it to Herbert Spencer (1820-1903). [PDF format]
The Third Step and Your Prayer
Examples of prayers in use prior to publication of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous.
Time Line on Development of the Twelve Steps
Traces the Twelve Steps of AA from 19th century revivalists through the Oxford Groups and Alcoholics Anonymous to multiple views of today.
Tombstone at Winchester Cathedral
Photograph of the tombstone which is quoted on Page 1 of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous.
Tombstone of Thomas Thetcher
The inscription on this tombstone at Winchester Cathedral is quoted in "Bill's Story" in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous.
The Wilson House
The birthplace and childhood home of Bill W, founder of Alcoholics Anonymous in East Dorset, Vermont. Brief biography. Tour of the house. Schedule of AA and Al-Anon meetings.
[Book Mozilla]
Last update:
January 5, 2017 at 11:05:02 UTC
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