Publication Date

March 1, 2003

Perspectives Section


At it its January 2003 meeting (during the 117th annual meeting in Chicago), the AHA's Council accepted two new affiliated societies: the Society for Automotive Historians (SAH) and the Center for History and New Media (CHNM).

The Society for Automotive Historians is a 900-member organization that encourages research, documentation, preservation, and publication of history concerning the invention, development, and influence of the automobile. Founded in 1969, the SAH now has chapters throughout the United States and Europe that foster connections and cooperation through yearly meetings, a membership directory, bimonthly newsletters, and a semiannual scholarly journal, Automotive History Review. The headquarters of the society is located in Gales Ferry, Connecticut.

The society holds its annual meeting in conjunction with the Antique Automobile Club of America's National Fall Meet in Hershey, Pennsylvania, each October. At the meeting, the society recognizes excellence in automotive history by bestowing the following awards: the Nicholas-Joseph Cugnot Award for the best book in the field of automotive history; the Carl Benz Award for the best periodical article or series; the Richard and Grace Brigham Award for the magazine with the best overall treatment of automotive history; the E. P. Ingersoll Award for the best presentation of automotive history in other than print media; the James J. Bradley Distinguished Service Award to deserving archives and libraries for exemplary efforts in preserving motor vehicle resource materials; and the Friend of Automotive History Award to an individual who has made a particular personal contribution to automotive history.

The society maintains a web site ( with links to current events and to articles from the newsletter and the Automotive History Review. Most recently, the SAH met with the Automotive Club of France in Paris on the eve of the famous Rétromobile show. At the dinner, the SAH formally presented three awards: the Friend of Automotive History to Karl E. Ludvigsen; the Cugnot Award to Asbjorn Rolseth for Rolling Coachwork-The Story of Norwegian Bodymakers; and an Award of Distinction to Maurice Louche for Le Rallye Monte-Carlo aux XXème Siècle.

Yearly membership in the SAH is $40. A membership form is available at the society's web site. Current officers of the organization are President Dale K. Wells, Vice President Joseph S. Freeman, Secretary Michael L. Berger, and Treasurer Christopher G. Foster.

Also joining the AHA as an affiliate is the Center for History and New Media (CHNM), located at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. The CHNM has been using digital media and computer technology since 1994 to change the way people—from historians and students to the general public—learn about and use the past. The center melds innovative digital media with the latest and best historical scholarship to promote an inclusive and democratic understanding of the past as well as a broad historical literacy. The center’s web site is at

Currently, the center is collaborating with several national organizations on projects such as "History Matters: The U.S. Survey Course on the Web," an award-winning site directed at teachers of the U.S. history survey course; "The September 11 Digital Archive," which uses electronic media to collect, preserve, and present the history and memory of the September 11, 2001, attacks in New York, Virginia, and Pennsylvania, and the public responses; and "History News Network," a web-based magazine featuring articles by historians of all political persuasions who seek to place current events in a historical perspective.

The CHNM is a useful resource for history teachers of any level, with a variety of teaching and professional aids made available online. The center's home page provides links to 1,200 history departments around the world; an indexed guide to 5,000 history web sites; an annotated guide to 500 U.S. history sites; a comprehensive directory of 2,000 web sites in the history of science and technology; and free software tools useful for historians and teachers.

The center became an AHA affiliate shortly before its director, Roy Rosenzweig, became the newest vice president of the AHA's Research Division. In fact, the center has had close connections with the AHA for many years. Apart from serving as the first host of the AHA web site, the center received the AHA's 1998 James Harvey Robinson Prize for the teaching aid that has made the most outstanding contribution to the teaching and learning of history.

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