July 12, 2011
By Robert B. Townsend
At its meeting in early June, the AHA Council accepted four new applications for affiliation from the Association for Documentary Editing and three research centers at the Newberry Library (the Hermon Dunlap Smith Center for the History of Cartography, the D’Arcy McNickle Center for American Indian and Indigenous Studies, and the Dr. William M. Scholl Center for American History and Culture). The three centers join the Newberry’s Center for Renaissance Studies as affiliates of the AHA. Learn more about each center below:
- Newberry Library D’Arcy McNickle Center for American Indian and Indigenous Studies
The McNickle Center’s goals are to encourage the use of the Newberry collections in American Indian and indigenous studies; improve the quality of what is written about American Indians and indigenous peoples; educate teachers about American Indian and indigenous cultures, histories, and literatures; assist American Indian tribal and indigenous historians in their research; and provide a meeting ground where scholars, teachers, tribal historians, and others interested in American Indian and indigenous studies can discuss their work with each other.
- Newberry Library Dr. William M. Scholl Center for American History and Culture
The Dr. William M. Scholl Center for American History and Culture promotes innovative research and teaching through the use of the Newberry Library’s rich collections in American history, culture, and the humanities.
- Newberry Library Hermon Dunlap Smith Center for the History of Cartography
The Hermon Dunlap Smith Center for the History of Cartography was founded in 1971 to support the mission of the Newberry Library as it relates to the field of the history of cartography.
While all three of the Newberry Centers fall outside the norm for affiliated societies (membership organizations with a peer-reviewed journal), they are similar to other organizations accepted for affiliation over the past few years, such as George Mason’s Center for History and New Media and the German Historical Institute. They clearly represent communities of first-rate history work, even if they do not have membership roles in the traditional sense. We hope to revise the affiliation policy in the coming year to more explicitly reflect this recent trend, and perhaps more clearly differentiate between membership societies and service organizations.
Association for Documentary Editing
The Association for Documentary Editing (ADE) is a more traditional sort of AHA affiliate: a professional association for historians, literary scholars, and other individuals with an interest in the editing of historical documents, who make up its membership.
The relationship with each of the affiliates varies considerably. In some cases, the ties are close, resulting in collaborative projects and publications, joint prizes and awards, and co-sponsored meetings and conferences. In other cases, the principal activity is consultation regarding special concerns or referral of inquiries. But all of the affiliates are listed in an online directory (which remains a very popular section of the AHA website) and most sponsor sessions at the annual meeting, taking advantage of the Association’s favorable transportation and hotel rates and the availability of free meeting space.
Officers of history organizations who might be interested in affiliation can contact Robert Townsend for more information.