The Thoreau Society is a literary society devoted to the works of Henry David Thoreau, it is based in Concord, Massachusetts, USA. Established in 1941, it has long contributed to the dissemination of knowledge about Henry David Thoreau by collecting books, manuscripts, and artifacts relating to Thoreau and his contemporaries, by encouraging the use of its collections, and by publishing articles in two Society periodicals.
The Thoreau Society archives are housed at the Walden Woods Project's Thoreau Institute Library in Lincoln, Massachusetts. This repository includes the collections of Walter Harding and Raymond Adams, two of the foremost authorities on Thoreau and founders of the Thoreau Society; and those of Roland Robbins, who uncovered Thoreau's Walden house site.
To stimulate interest in and foster education about Thoreau's life, works, and philosophy and his place in his world and ours,
To encourage research on Thoreau’s life and writings,
To act as a repository for Thoreauviana and material relevant to Thoreau,
And to advocate for the preservation of Thoreau Country.
Thoreau Society members represent a wide range of professions, interests, and hometowns across the United States and around the world. They are connected by the conviction that Henry Thoreau had important things to say and crucial questions to ask that are just as significant in our time as in his.
Through its programs, publications and projects, The Thoreau Society is committed to exploring Thoreau's observations on living with self, society and nature, and encouraging people to think about how they live their own lives.
Four days of indoor and outdoor sessions and excursions in and around Concord focused on a different theme each year. The Thursday–Sunday program is scheduled in early July.
Lectures, classes, and performances in Thoreau's hometown of Concord, often in collaboration with other historical, literary, environmental and educational organizations. An educational DVD, “Life With Principle,” is available for high school and adult audiences with a full accompanying curriculum and related workshops.
Trips to places associated with Thoreau, from half-day hikes to multi-day outings. Past locations have included Mt. Katahdin, Cape Cod, Harpers Ferry, Mt. Monadnock and Concord sites such as Egg Rock, Fairhaven Bay, Gowing's Swamp and Sleepy Hollow Cemetery.
At academic conferences (both the Modern Language Association and the American Literature Association have two annual sessions at their conferences each devoted to Thoreau) and workshops for educators.
Coordinated by Society members, these take place in communities across the country and worldwide, on a variety of topics, and are posted on the Society's website.
A quarterly publication with Society news, additions to the Thoreau bibliography, and short articles on Thoreau and related topics. Edited by Mark Gallagher.
An annual scholarly and popular journal with two hundred pages of in-depth essays on Thoreau, his times and his contemporaries, and his influence today. Edited by John J. Kucich.
The Society publishes original Thoreau-related books and reprints of selected hard-to-find titles about Thoreau.
The Thoreau Society owns several important collections, including the papers of Walter Harding, Raymond Adams, and Roland Robbins, which are housed at the Thoreau Institute at Walden Woods. This research facility, founded through a collaboration between the Walden Woods Project and The Thoreau Society, is managed by the Walden Woods Project.