Publication Date

September 1, 2003

Archives and Artifacts

Deadline February 16, 2004

The 119th annual meeting of the Association will be held in Seattle January 6–9, 2005. The Program Committee welcomes proposals from all members of the Association (academic and nonacademic), from affiliated societies, from historians working outside the United States, and scholars in related disciplines. Proposals on all historical periods and topics and from all chronological and geographic areas of specialization are welcome. To encourage proposals that concern basic aspects of historical research that are relevant to everyone who studies history, the Program Committee has chosen as a theme for the annual meeting the topic, “Archives and Artifacts.” Please note, however, that the designation of this theme does not in any way exclude from consideration or put at a disadvantage panels unrelated to the theme.

The theme of "Archives and Artifacts" invites consideration of both the promise of greater access to historical information and the fragility of documentation and artistic objects, which, as recent events have reminded us, can be looted and destroyed. The exponential increase in government records and a more expansive definition of what constitutes historical sources also has a dual effect of creating more data while at the same time making it more ephemeral (the decline of hard-copy written records of important transactions and the rise of e-mail and the like). Specific areas of possible interest include: the opening of formerly closed archives; the ability to put material on the Web; the difficulty of using rare materials that are made available to scholars only as facsimiles (illuminated manuscripts, for example); and aspects of the commodification of the evidence from the past—such as the protection of collections, the rising incidence of forgery (Babylonian tablets but also Civil War artifacts), and the growth of the antiquities markets (legal and illegal). Public historians and archivists from the United States are particularly asked to share their experiences and thoughts. All historians have had occasion to consider both promises of easier access and threats to historical material in an era that truly appears to be the best and worst of times for historical research.

There is only one deadline for submission: February 16, 2004. Any proposal postmarked after that date will not be considered. The committee will consider only complete panels or workshops (those that include all presenters, chair, and commentator). Because there is only one deadline, single-paper submissions cannot be considered. Experience has shown that it is virtually impossible to find matches for single papers or form panels around them with the single, later deadline. There will also be no "poster sessions."

The AHA has established a Panel Locator on its web site to assist members in finding suitable copanelists. The Panel Locator will be searchable via keyword and subject area, and may be accessed at

The H-Net lists, which are also a useful resource in finding prospective panel members, can be accessed at

Please consult the "Program Committee Guidelines” when preparing a proposal, and be sure to use a print out of the 2005 cover sheet (or a photocopy). A cover sheet is mandatory for all submissions. Additional copies of all materials may be obtained from the AHA office with a request addressed to: 2004 Materials, AHA, 400 A St., SE, Washington, DC 20003-3889. (202) 544-2422, ext. 104. Fax (202) 544-8307. E-mail: All materials may also be found on the Annual Meeting page on the AHA’s web site.

All persons appearing on the program must be members of the AHA, the exceptions being foreign scholars and scholars from other disciplines. Only in exceptional circumstances will individuals be allowed to appear consecutively on the 2004 and 2005 programs.

Please mail four copies of the complete proposal (including the cover sheet) to Paul Freedman, Department of History, Yale University, P.O. Box 208324, New Haven CT 06520-8324. Please mark your envelope AHA 2005.

For more information about how to submit a proposal, please see the FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS web page.

Paul Freedman (Yale Univ.) and Barbara Weinstein (Univ. of Maryland at College Park) are co-chairs of the Program Committee for the 119th annual meeting of the AHA.

The Program Committee for 2005

Paul Freedman (Yale Univ.), chair; Barbara Weinstein (Univ. of Maryland at College Park), co-chair; John L. Brooke (Ohio State Univ.); Sherman Gilbert Cochran (Cornell Univ.); Sharon Cohen (Walter Johnson High School, Bethesda, Maryland); Evelyn Edson (Piedmont Valley Community Coll.); Karen Halttunen (Univ. of California at Davis); Mack Holt (George Mason Univ.); Gerald Horne (Univ. of North Carolina at Chapel Hill); Lynn Mally (Univ. of California at Irvine); Mrinalini Sinha (Penn State Univ.); Barbara Clark Smith (Smithsonian Institution); and Luise S. White (Univ. of Florida).

The 2006 meeting chair and co-chair who will also serve on the 2005 committee will be appointed this fall.

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