In the news this week, AHA President Laurel Thatcher Ulrich has won a prestigious award, the Gates Foundation has donated a significant amount to the African American History and Culture Museum, and a Russian historian has been detained for violating “privacy laws” in his research. We also link to two articles on the history of healthcare. One comes from the History Guys and another from James Mohr, history professor at the University of Oregon. Then, peruse images that have been faked, drawn, or added to Flickr.
In this week’s What We’re Reading we bring you an assortment of news and reviews. In the news, Cologne is rebuilding its city archives after the devastating collapse earlier this year. Then, read about a new web site that allows users to “access information about projects funded by NEH since 1980,” the ATF transferring an Alexander Hamilton document to the National Archives, and readers being sought for the U.S. Department of Education’s International Programs. In reviews, James McPherson takes a look at a number of Abraham Lincoln biographies, Donald Worster critiques Ken Burns’ new documentary on the National Park Service, and the Humanities E-Book site receives some positive comments.
The Association has established a Technology Advisory Committee, to provide guidance to the AHA Council and staff on how the organization’s electronic publishing program might do better today and where it should be five years from now.
The committee effort grows out of recent efforts to assess the future of the AHA. As part of that review, members of the AHA Council became concerned that the AHA’s electronic publishing program is not keeping pace with the latest technological developments, and that the current web site has become rather cluttered and difficult to navigate.
“This is no ordinary book,” wrote Geoffrey Parker in the American Historical Review of December 1985, reviewing Cross-cultural Trade in World History, published by Cambridge University Press in 1984. This was no ordinary historian, one might write with equal justification, of the book’s author, long-time member and president (in 1983) of the AHA, Philip D. Curtin, who died yesterday, June 4, 2009, in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, at the age of 87.
Born in Philadelphia in 1922, Philip Curtin grew up in West Virginia.
AHA President Gabrielle Spiegel presided over last night’s “Opening of the 123rd Annual Meeting,” starting off with a quick welcome to participants and audience members, then moving on to the night’s events. First off was the presentation of the sixth Theodore Roosevelt-Woodrow Wilson Public Service Award to Adam Hochschild, author of King Leopold’s Ghost. Spiegel explained that the Roosevelt-Wilson award is given “to honor a public figure or other civil servant who has made extraordinary contributions to the study, teaching, and public understanding of history.” Hochschild embodies this, with work that has “focused on topics of important moral and political urgency, with a special emphasis on social and political injustices,” and that has “had an extraordinary impact, attracting readers the world over, altering the teaching and writing of history and affecting politics and culture at national and international levels.”
Hochschild graciously accepted the award, thanking those who have made his achievements possible: his wife, his editor, and the numerous historians with whom he’s consulted over the years.
Are you warm and toasty on this December 25th? George Washington sure wasn’t when crossing a half-frozen Delaware River today over 200 years ago. What else happened on this day in history? We link to the Library of Congress’ American Memory site for more. Then, in the news, archiving Bush administration e-mails may be delayed, due to technical and legal issues. We’re also reading about using Lincoln-Obama comparisons, Google Books for research, two Boston Tea Party tea chests on display, what writer-historians should check out at the annual meeting, a recent history hoax in the name of education, and finally, a report on maintaining digital resources.
With over 90 exhibitors in attendance, stopping by the Exhibit Hall at the annual meeting is a must, and this year there is added incentive. Visit the AHA’s booth (419) in America’s Hall II to meet and discuss what’s on your mind with some key AHA figures. The following people will be available at the booth at these dates and times:
Saturday, January 3
11:00am –12:00 pm
- Arnita Jones, executive director of the AHA
- Robert Townsend, AHA assistant director of research and publications
Sunday, January 4
- Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, AHA president-elect
- Barbara Weinstein, AHA immediate past-president
- Robert Schneider, editor of the American Historical Review
- Pillarisetti Sudhir, editor of Perspectives on History
See below for the winners of the 2008 AHA Election. These individuals will begin their terms of office following the 123rd Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.
President (1-year term)
- Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, Harvard University (early America, comparative women’s, material culture)
President-elect (1-year term)
- Barbara Metcalf, University of Michigan and emeritus, Univ. of California, Davis (history of the Indian subcontinent, especially the colonial period; history of the Muslim population of India and Pakistan)
Vice-President, Research Division (3-year term)
- Iris Berger, University at Albany-SUNY (Africa, comparative women’s, labor and working-class)
Council/Divisions (3-year terms)
- Sarah C.