Published Date

March 5, 1974

Resource Type

AHA Archival Document

AHA Topics

Professional Life

By Sheldon Hackney, Elizabeth Brown, Winton U. Solberg, George V. Taylor, and Alfred Young

March 5, 1974



Executive Director’s Preface

I. Foreword

II. Analysis of the Questionnaire

III. Analysis of Individual Cases

IV. Statement of Professional Standards

Appendix A: Tabulation of the Results of the Questionnaire

Appendix B: Excerpts from Reports on Cases and Conditions in the Questionnaires

Appendix C: Letter Sent to Historians on Violations of Academic Freedom

Executive Director’s Preface

In the foreword to its Final Report, the ad hoc Committee on the Rights of Historians describes the careful process that led to the writing of this report. When the committee submitted the report to the AHA Council in March 1974, a careful review was undertaken. The Council Committee on the Profession, under the guidance of its chairman, Otis L. Graham, Jr., gave the report thorough study and brought it before the full Council at its September meeting. On September 29, 1974, the Council voted to adopt the six recommendations in the foreword of the report and to publish the Statement of Professional Standards in the Newsletter.

Upon the recommendation of the Committee on the Profession, the Council, on December 27, 1974, voted to adopt and to publish the report. The Council has agreed to approve certain additional changes recommended by the Committee on the Rights of Historians as a result of the reviews and discussions that had occurred since the report was originally submitted. The document as printed here reflects these changes.

The Final Report is now official AHA policy. We believe that the document provides an instructive evaluation of the state of academic freedom for historians. The recommendations offer guidance to the Association in responding to infringements of the rights of historians, and the Statement of Professional Standards offers a sound statement of policy to avoid such infringements. The AHA realizes that it cannot legislate for its members, but the standards proposed are ones that all historians and all departments should strive to attain. We hope that this document will foster discussion of these matters within departments and that you will share the report with your colleagues.

Mack Thompson, Executive Director

February 14, 1975