Publication Date

September 1, 1989

Perspectives Section

AHA Activities

The AHA is very pleased to announce that the National Endowment for the Humanities has agreed to provide the funding necessary to move ahead with plans to produce a new edition of our Guide to Historical Literature. The original Guide was published in 1931 and revised in 1961, and the AHA began planning for a third edition of this venerable reference tool in 1983. Credit for pulling this enormously complex project together must go to Mary Beth Norton, former AHA vice president for research, and her colleagues in the Research Division; Richard Price and the Department of History, University of Maryland, College Park, our cosponsor; Claude Conyers and his associates at Oxford University Press; our affiliate, the Association for the Bibliography of History; and, of course, John Higham, the General Editor for the Guide, and his distinguished board of editors. Professor Higham and the board have devoted many long hours to refining plans and laying the groundwork for the official launching of the project in January 1990.

The compilation of the new Guide is expected to take at least four years and will involve over five hundred historians as section editors and contributors. Scheduled for publication by Oxford University Press in 1995, the finished product will consist of two volumes, extensively indexed and cross-referenced, with approximately 25,000 annotated entries encompassing the best scholarly literature in all geographical, chronological, and topical specializations. The project will make full use of automation technology, thereby facilitating, as well, plans to publish updated versions at ten-year intervals.

Obviously, this will be a complex and expensive undertaking, and we greatly appreciate the Endowment’s decision to provide a $150,000 outright grant and another $150,000 in matching funds for support of the project’s first two years, the total costs of which will exceed $600,000. The Association is now raising the additional funds from private sources.