AHA Activities

Guide to Historical Literature Soon to Be Published

AHA Staff, November 1994

The third edition of the American Historical Association's Guide to Historical Literature will be published by Oxford University Press early next year, providing a bibliography of almost 27,000 annotated citations selected from the best recent scholarship in all fields of history.

According to the Guide's general editor, Mary Beth Norton (Cornell Univ.), the new edition's two volumes will be invaluable to scholars starting research on unfamiliar subjects, researchers seeking comparative evidence from other areas or times, teachers preparing lectures that extend beyond their immediate field, graduate students preparing for comprehensive exams, or anyone seeking a perspective on recent developments in the profession. "It should serve the function of a colleague down the hall that you would run to with questions about something outside your field," Norton said. She added the hope that the new Guide will help to "break down some of the subdisciplinary boundaries that have been built up over the last few years. It should show historians what is going on outside their fields."

The third edition is divided into sections arranged by chronology and national and regional history, with each section introduced by a valuable historiographical essay. Each citation is given a reference number and a brief critical annotation written by a specialist in the field. Complete indexes of authors and subjects make it easy to find what you want quickly and easily.

The third edition of the Guide, which has been in planning and preparation since 1984, brought together scholars from around the world. The last edition of the Guide was published in 1961. In addition to drawing on the finest scholarship of the past three decades, this edition greatly expands the treatment of Africa, Asia, and North and South America, whose treatment comprised less than half of the second edition.

To insure proper treatment of scholarship from around the globe, a large number of foreign scholars served as section editors or coeditors, contributors, and consultants. Norton thanked the Rockefeller Foundation in particular for providing funds specifically for this purpose. Other funders include the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Andrew Mellon Foundation, and the Henry Luce Foundation.

Norton also praised the new edition's associate editor, Pamela Gerardi, without whom "this never would have happened," as well as all the contributors and section editors. "I don't think they realized what they were getting into, but they did a remarkable job. They performed a selfless task, when you think about it, because they explained what is new in their field to people who are outside their field."

The third edition of the Guide will be available March 1995, with a special AHA member price of $100 for the two volumes. The nonmember price is $125 prior to publication and $150 thereafter. These prices may still be subject to change, and apply only in the United States. For more information, call Oxford University Press at (800) 451-7556 in the United States and (800) 387-8020 in Canada.