Founded in 1884, the American Historical Association (AHA) has been an important facet of scholarly, historical studies in America since its conception. The AHA has shaped and has been shaped by "prevailing social forces" over its 130 year history. Today, the AHA "is the largest professional organization in the United States devoted to the study and promotion of history and historical thinking". The AHA is committed to bringing "together historians from all specializations and professions, embracing their breadth, variety, and ever-changing activity". With over 14,000 member, the AHA is critical in facilitating networks between scholars and promoting collaborative efforts.