Publication Date

May 1, 2001

Perspectives Section


The presidential addresses of the American Historical Association are now available online. This is provided as a service to all who are interested in tracing the changes that have occurred in the profession since 1884. Since there is no set topic for the presidential address, the subjects treated have ranged widely from the role of history in society to the best practices of historians as writers, teachers, and social scientists. Each in its unique way represents a microcosm of the interests and concerns of the profession at various stages of its development over the past century.

The text for many of the addresses was supplied by JSTOR, the balance was scanned in by AHA staff using optical character recognition software. All addresses were then proofed for accuracy by Directory editor Liz Townsend and encoded into HTML. The AHA’s Internet Projects Coordinator Vernon Horn developed a search utility to allow keyword searches across the presidential addresses. Over the summer, additional materials will be added, providing brief biographies of the AHA presidents, and some analysis highlighting a number of important threads that can be traced through the addresses.

Comments and suggestions on improving the site can be addressed to Robert Townsend, assistant director for publications and research, by e-mail addressed to Robert Townsend, or by mail to American Historical Association, 400 A St., SE, Washington, DC 20003.

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