Online & Manuscript Archive
Inspiration and insight are joys of browsing Stepping Stones Online Archive Portal. We invite you to register for free for an account in the Portal, which was launched in November 2022. The goal is for the Portal to continue to grow and eventually include 10,000 pages from the Wilson’s personal papers and members of their circle. Portal material will be drawn from among 100,000 documents in the full Stepping Stones Archive, which continues to grow as material is donated pertaining to the Wilsons and their friends and family. Treasures in the archive include inscriptions in the first Alcoholics Anonymous (“Big Book”) book to come off the printing press in 1939 (the first of over 40 million in English alone) and documents tracing the pivotal work of A.A. Cofounder William Griffith Wilson (Bill W.), Al-Anon Family Groups Cofounder Lois Burnham Wilson, and their circle of friends in launching global 12-Step recovery fellowships.
Be a part of Stepping Stones Archives! Give to support our preservation work and archival services or volunteer here or from your home computer to help us make precious documents available for generations to come.
In 2010, Stepping Stones and its supporters began the massive multi-part Archives Preservation Project to safeguard Bill and Lois Wilsons’ more than 227,000 original personal papers, photographs, and manuscripts and 7,800 photographs. Microfilm and digital copies were made. An online archive with 10,000 easy-to-access images is in development, and you can apply to be trained from home to categorize, transcribe, and/or translate documents. The work of volunteers will make searching the archive by date, subject, etc. possible.
Submit this application to learn more.
For those who have already completed the above form and have been contacted to volunteer, please complete the Online Archive Volunteer Policy Agreement and Conflict Disclosure Form.
Permission is required for use or sharing of the below materials.
- Letter: Carl Jung to Bill Wilson
- Books & Inscriptions: A list of books found in the Wilsons’ home at Stepping Stones.
- The Time 100: The Most Important People of the Century, section on “Heroes & Icons” including Bill Wilson, by Susan Cheever, June 14, 1999.
Scholars, authors, filmmakers, and 12-Step history enthusiasts find Stepping Stones Archive to be an invaluable resource for projects requiring biographical information about the Wilsons and information about the early history of A.A. and Al-Anon. Highlights include rare diaries, moving correspondence and original memorabilia related to the Wilsons, their families, and early pioneers of A.A.
To review, access, or use archive material, please apply by completing the first two forms below (policy and anonymity agreements) and all other relevant forms.
Agreement to Archive Policies Form
Anonymous Materials Research Form
Information Research Request Form
Research Study Copy Request Form
Image / Photography Request Form
Archive Material Use Request Form
Rights and Reproduction Use Form
Stepping Stones collects archival and other material related to Bill and Lois Wilson, their work related to A.A. and Al-Anon, and the Wilsons’ circle. To find out if materials are a fit for our archive, please contact us.
Examples of recently donated items include, an original Liberty Magazine featuring their first A.A. story, a book inscribed by Bill’s early A.A. colleague, and a rare recording of Lois We are grateful to all who entrust Stepping Stones with important items, which will be preserved and shared in a meaningful way.
Stepping Stones does not provide advice on tax and financial advantages of giving. Please contact your accountant or tax advisor regarding deductibility requirements.
If an item is a match for our archive, Stepping Stones and the donor will complete a deed of gift form.