Publication Date

February 1, 1990

Perspectives Section


Currently, eighty-eight different historical organizations are affiliated with the AHA. AHA affiliates are a diverse group that include the American Studies Association, the History of Science Society, the North American Conference on British Studies, and the National Council on Public History to name just a few.

The requirements for this status—and what links these disparate entities—are twofold: a serious commitment to the study and the advancement of historical knowledge and a formal organizational structure with concomitant serious activity in publishing and disseminating historical work. Though it is not a stated requirement, the AHA Committee on Affiliated Societies has been inclined to turn down the applications of organizations that are specialized, regional or local organizations of small size and scope, or organizations composed of buffs rather than scholars.

The Association publishes an annually updated directory of these affiliates, which is distributed to departments of history and other subscribers to our Institutional Services Program. Beyond that, the specified nature of the AHA’s relationship with its affiliates varies. In some cases, the ties are close, as evidenced in collaborative projects and publications, joint prizes and awards, and cosponsored meetings and conferences. In other cases, the principle activity is consultation regarding special concerns or referral of inquiries. All AHA affiliates are encouraged to submit news items for the “Affiliates” column of the AHA’s newsletter, Perspectives, and special consideration is often given to affiliate organizations in regard to publishing news in other columns. At AHA annual meetings affiliates can piggyback their annual meetings with those of the AHA. This of course results in excellent transportation and hotel rates for affiliate members.

Affiliated organizations can and do mount their own programs, and their sessions are listed in the front of the official AHA Program of the Annual Meeting at the rate of $200 per page. The AHA program currently has a circulation of approximately 17,000. While an affiliated society may seek to propose a session through the AHA Program Committee (to be listed as a joint session in the main body of the Program), a slot is not guaranteed. Proposed sessions are considered equally with other proposals sent to the Program Committee.

Affiliates may also obtain a table and seating in convenient locations during AHA annual meetings for dispensing literature and other items for the nominal fee of $25.00. Generally, the location is central and attached to the registration area.

Occasionally the AHA will seek a one-time free use of an affiliate’s mailing list of members to seek dual membership from individuals not listed as AHA members.

If your organization is interested in seeking affiliation, the AHA will be pleased to send you an application and a current copy of our Directory of Affiliated Societies. Applications are referred to the AHA Committee on Affiliated Societies, which is chaired by current President-Elect William Leuchtenburg. The committee makes its decisions by mail and recommendations are then submitted to the AHA Council for approval. Council meetings take place each December at the AHA Annual Meeting and again in May. The whole process of obtaining affiliation takes approximately six to eight months.

For more information and an application form please contact Sharon K. Tune, AHA Executive Assistant, 400 A St., SE, Washington, DC 20003; 202/544-2422.