From the News column in the September 2002 Perspectives
The AHA Web Site: A Wealth of Resources
Frances M. Clarke, September 2002
Welcome to the AHA's Web Site! Perspectives Online is just one of the many useful features that we have to offer. If you're unfamiliar with our site, here's just a brief sample of the many other useful resources that you can find here:
If you're a graduate student, you may already be familiar with the AHA's online Guide to Fellowships, Awards, and Grants. If you're a member of the AHA and have begun to contemplate life after graduate school, perhaps you've also searched the job ads in Perspectives Online. But did you know that you can also find Data on the Historical Profession on the AHA's web site, including information relating to trends in the job market, academic salaries, admissions and enrollments. Moreover, were you aware that you could easily track down PhD candidates working in your field simply by searching the AHA's database of Dissertations in Progress? Over the past year, we've added a new feature to this database, enabling student members to update their own information online, and add an abstract of their work.
For those of you with an interest in U.S. history or U.S. historiography, we've recently incorporated some fascinating resources on the AHA's web site. First, there's a searchable database of AHA Presidential Addresses, dating back to the AHA's founding in 1884, which should prove indispensable to scholars interested in the development of the historical profession. Second, the web site now includes the G.I. Roundtable Series—a group of 42 pamphlets produced by the AHA during World War II, under the direction of the Army's Division of Information and Education. Originally intended to foster discussion among U.S. troops, these pamphlets encapsulate many of the social tensions and uncertainties caused by the war. With titles like "Do You Want Your Wife to Work After the War," and "What Should We Do with Germany?" they offer intriguing evidence of wartime culture, as well as an example of the Army's attempts at social engineering. If you're looking for primary sources to kindle student's interest in the cultural and social history of WWII, these short pamphlets would be ideal. To facilitate the pamphlets' use for both researchers and teachers, the site's creator, Robert Townsend, also provides a range of contextualizing material, including background documentation relating to the AHA's involvement, a review of related web sites, and his own analysis of the pamphlets.
If you're a K-12 teacher, the web site offers plenty of useful additional resources for you. For example, if you've been pondering ways to take advantage of the growing range of internet material in your teaching, the web site provides a number of model syllabi for introductory survey courses built around digitized primary sources. In addition, there are links to hundreds of web sites for use in the classroom, together with a brief description of their content. And, you might also be interested in the variety of information relating to professional issues-including articles by and about K-12 teaching, prizes and awards, discussions relating to textbooks and history standards, and an important page with links to current collaborative projects around the United States that are designed to strengthen history education for K-12 students.
AHA articles on the rise of Part-time and Adjunct faculty are also available online, together with the Association's "Guidelines for the Employment of Part-Time and Temporary Faculty in History." Links to resources for part-timers and adjuncts follow, in addition to a call for comments in relation to the AHA's special committee on the proliferation of part-time and adjunct positions. Likewise, the web site provides a separate page for public historians and another for history researchers, which provide articles of interest to these historians, together with links to useful sites.
Another useful resource on the AHA's web site, as you may already have figured out, is, of course, Perspectives Online, especially its searchable online archive of Perspectives articles, dating back to 1995. Here, you can find articles (including columns by AHA presidents) on a variety of topics such as innovative teaching methods, interesting archives, aspects of the profession, historical films, and virtually anything that might interest members. This summer, for the first time, a special issue of Perspectives Online was published with articles written specially for the online issue.
Anyone interested in attending the AHA's Annual Meetings will also find a wealth of details on this subject on the web site—including a panel finder to help prospective paper-givers locate appropriate co-panelists (the 2003 panel finder is coming soon!).
—Frances Clarke is a former Research Associate for the AHA and will so be joining the faculty at the University of Sydney, Australia as a professor of U.S. History.