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OAH

Volume 1 / number 3 / February 2012

OUTLOOK

A membership newsletter of the

American Historians

2012 OAH/NCPH Annual Meeting

Current Events Impact Milwaukee Program

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hen the call for proposals for the 2012 meeting was made in August 2010, the OAH/NCPH Program Committee envisioned a program that would focus on the connections between capitalism and democracy. They expected to shape the meeting’s content around issues of labor, evolving market systems, and class relations. They could not have expected that, by the time the committee met to review session proposals, the meeting’s host state would be embroiled in a struggle over public unions, collective bargaining, and a grassroots recall of the governor. More than two hundred sessions, panels, workshops, and other presentations are scheduled for the Milwaukee meet-

Protesters in Wisconsin demonstrate against Governor Scott Walker, April 2011. (Flickr Creative Commons, photo by ra_hurd)

ing, reflecting the current scholarship on a broad range of topics in U.S. history, as well as addressing contemporary issues. The joint venture between the OAH and the National Council on Public History allows members of both organizations to learn from and collaborate with one another. The program committee worked to ensure that the program was full of sessions that would appeal broadly to historians of the United States. In addition to its strong focus on public history, the 2012 OAH/NCPH Annual Meeting boasts a significant number of sessions in fields that have traditionally been underrepresented in OAH programs. Sessions on military history, digital history, the history of capitalism, Continues on Page 2 u

Remembering OAH Past President, David Montgomery Michael Honey

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avid Montgomery died suddenly from a brain hemorrhage on December 2, 2011, one day after his 84th birthday. Remembrances on the Web sites of the Labor and Working Class History Association (LAWCHA), the Sidney Hillman Foundation, and the OAH provide an inkling of his impact on many lives. The OAH will remember and celebrate David’s life and legacy on Friday, April 20, at the 2012 OAH/NCPH Annual Meeting in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. David was the North Star of the history profession—an eminent scholar,

an exciting and profound teacher, and a wonderful human being. Through his writing, teaching, and personal behavior, David modeled a meaningful life. There was no better friend and mentor, no more magnanimous scholar, no more humorous observer of life’s follies. He was forthright in his opinions but always with a grace note; his infectious laugh gave implicit recognition that no one has a monopoly on truth. His “legendary generosity,” as Eileen Boris put it, helped not only legions of his own graduate students but also many others find their footing. His outreach and concern Continues on Page 4 u

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American Historians


OAH

OUTLOOK

Milwaukee, from page 1 

vol. 1 / no. 3 / February 2012

TABLE OF CONTENTS Current Events Impact Milwaukee Program

1

Remembering OAH Past President, David Montgomery Michael Hone y

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From the OAH President

Reaching Beyond Our Borders Alice Kessler-Harris

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OAH Committee Hosts Town Hall Meeting

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News of the Organization

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From the OAH Executive Director

Behind the Fees of the Annual Meeting K atherine M. Finle y

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From the Archivist of the United States

A Presidential Charge to Improve Federal Records Management David S. Ferriero

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OAH Announces NPS State of History Study

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OAH Membership News

7

and environmental history represent more than 30 percent of the sessions on the program. Labor historians will find a number of interesting sessions, workshops, and networking events. This year’s annual meeting also will offer a number of sessions specifically created for graduate students and early professionals, with practical advice on honing skills for job searches, preparing a curriculum vitae, and exploring careers outside academe. However, the annual convention is not just about academic sessions. The OAH and the NCPH recognize the importance of networking and social events for historians at all levels. The Opening Reception, held Thursday evening in the Exhibit Hall, is a great place to grab appetizers, drinks, and books, and meet with colleagues before heading out to one of Milwaukee’s many terrific restaurants. On Friday evening, specialized organizations and OAH or NCPH committees, such as the Labor and Working-Class History Association and the OAH/NCPH committees on public history, host their own receptions. Many of these groups also host breakfast and luncheon events on Friday and Saturday. As the joint OAH/NCPH Program Committee finished planning the 2012 meeting, they returned to the original call

" C o m p a s s " b y s c u l p t o r J o h n B a r l o w H u d s o n s i t s n e a r P r o s p e c t Av e n u e a n d B r a d y S t r e e t o n M i l w a u k e e's E a s t side. ( Flickr Creative Commons photo by beigephotos)

for proposals in light of current events in Wisconsin’s state government. The historic protests at the state capitol during the summer of 2011 and the recall elections for many elected officials convinced the program committee and OAH and NCPH leadership to hold two “hot topic” sessions in Milwaukee, as a way to engage with the public by giving historical perspective on current events. Panelists and topics for these two sessions will be finalized in late March and early April, just before the annual meeting begins. Updates on these sessions will be available on the OAH and NCPH Web sites, the OAH e-newsletter, and via Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. ■

Digital History, New Media, and More This year’s OAH/NCPH Annual Meeting will showcase a number of sessions devoted to digital history and new media. We begin the meeting on Wednesday, April 18, with THATCamp NCPH. The Humanities and Technology Camps are open, inexpensive “unconferences” where attendees at all skill levels learn and collaborate in sessions that are proposed on the spot.

OAH Outlook (ISSN 2162-5050 [print], ISSN 2162-5069 [online]) is published each February, May, August, and November by the Organization of American Historians, 112 North Bryan Avenue, Bloomington, IN 47408-4199. Telephone (812) 855-7311; Fax (812) 855-0696; E-mail outlook@oah.org; http://www.oah.org/. The OAH reserves the right to reject articles, announcements, letters, advertisements, and other items that are not consonant with the goals and purposes of the organization. Copyright © 2012, Organization of American Historians. All rights reserved.

2 • February 2012 • OAH Outlook

Other digital history sessions include “Museums and Makers: Intersections of Public History from Steam Trains to Steampunk,” which explores how public history can engage with old and new communities of “makers,” such as railroad enthusiasts, machinists, and hobbyists. Experts at the Digital Drop-In will answer specific questions and address problems arising from digital history projects. Lightning Talks in the Exhibit Hall will offer attendees a chance to showcase a digital project or learn from the experiences of others. Precollegiate educators will find sessions that focus on the use of technology in the classroom. The National Archives will present a session on the new www.DocsTeach.org Web site that combines primary source materials from the Archives with interactive media. Staff from the National History Education Clearinghouse will host a panel on ways to teach historical thinking skills through their Web site, Teachinghistory.org. For more information on digital history and new media sessions at the 2012 OAH/NCPH Annual Meeting, please see page 39 of the OAH/NCPH Annual Meeting Program or visit http://annualmeeting.oah.org. ■


From the OAH President Alice Kessler-Harris

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Photo by Eileen Barroso

Reaching Beyond Our Borders

ur upcoming meeting this April in Milwaukee will include some exciting visitors from China. Three members of the American History Research Association of China will join us for the conference. They will be among the approximately one hundred scholars of the United States attending the convention and who live and work outside the U.S. Our Chinese visitors signal yet another step within the OAH toward a more inclusive agenda for American historians. This one reaches for a greater comprehension of how interpretations of American history are shaped by the locations of those who study outside its borders. Such issues have hovered in the background of scholarship about the United States for some time now. Scholars who position themselves on the fringes of the academy or whose personal histories provide unusual angles from which to examine our past have long participated in fruitful revisionist dialogue. Perhaps it is fair to say that the value of such views grows as the larger consequences of globalization become apparent on an intellectual as well as on a financial and commercial front. Within the OAH it is difficult to resist the opportunity to reach beyond U.S. borders not so much to teach as to learn. Toward these ends, the OAH has long had a short-term exchange program with Japan and has facilitated exchanges with many universities, most recently with the University of Tübingen in Germany. Our Journal of American History has an international board of editors, and tries to solicit input from outside the U.S. whenever possible. Since 1994, the OAH has given its Thelen Prize to an author of the best article on American history published in a foreign language. And in the late 1990s, the OAH jointly established the Project on Internationalizing the Study of American History with New York University’s International Center for Advanced Studies. The OAH has also weighed in to support the Fulbright-Hays program, whose funding is now in doubt. We support these real and metaphorical conversations because we believe that American scholars (and the study of American history) are enriched by expanding our horizons in many directions. The networks created by scholarly interchange provide fruitful and on-going links that often turn into friendships, resources for our students, and stimuli for comparative work. My own experience abroad, but especially in Sweden and Norway, has produced abiding contacts and T ü b i n g e n i s h o m e t o t h e OA H G e r m a n y R e s i d e n c y P r o g r a m . deeply influenced my work around ( Flickr Creative Commons photo by chagaz) issues of social policy. Our visitors come to us, courtesy of funding from the Ford Foundation, to explore the possibility of creating an on-going network of Chinese historians of the U.S. and OAH member historians. We anticipate creating a program, much like our Japan residencies program, that will, annually, bring several historians a year across the Pacific for shortterm exchanges. We hope to facilitate travel in both directions, and to invite OAH members to apply for these visits. If the idea intrigues you, please make it a point to make the acquaintance of our visitors in Milwaukee. Professors Wang Xu, Liang Maoxin, and Ren Donglai will be in Milwaukee for the duration of our meeting. Their scholarly expertise varies widely, including urban history and local government, constitutional history and the Supreme Court, labor and immigration. I know they will be happy to meet you. And I would welcome your thoughts on this new and challenging OAH initiative. ■

OAH Committee Hosts

Town Hall for

Adjunct Historians Part-time, adjunct, and temporary full-time professors constitute a large part of the historical profession. For this reason, the OAH’s Committee on Part-Time, Adjunct, and Contingent Employment (CPACE) will hold a “town hall” open forum for contingent instructors at 2:30 p.m., Friday, April 20 during the upcoming OAH/NCPH Annual Meeting in Milwaukee. The committee and the OAH have already taken a strong stand in support of adjunct and temporary history faculty. Last year, CPACE developed a tough new list of “best practices” for employing contingent instructors at colleges and universities. (http://www.oah.orgnews/20110331OAH_ PACE_Standards_03-17-11.pdf) The committee’s best practices were approved by the OAH Executive Board at its 2011 spring meeting in Houston, Texas. Among its recommendations, the best practices call for adequate office space and administrative support, professional development opportunities, regular and fair evaluations, access to health insurance and other benefits, proper compensation for work done, participation in faculty governance, and collection of accurate statistics on the use and status of part-time faculty. The American Historical Association’s executive council subsequently endorsed the OAH standards last June. The OAH CPACE wants the voices of adjunct and contingent historians to be heard. The “Occupy MLA” initiative at the Modern Language Association’s recent Seattle convention indicates a pervasive desire among adjunct and contingent instructors to address their employment conditions and improve their important contributions to academic work. The “town hall” will provide a chance to share information about these issues and to discuss ways to give the OAH standards real effect. We look forward to seeing you there. Donald Rogers, Chair OAH Committee on Part-Time, Adjunct, and Contingent Employment

February 2012 • OAH Outlook • 3


News

of the Organization

Honey, from page 1  for others made it an honor to be a historian. “I have scarcely met a person of his stature who radiated such kindness, sweetness, and humility,” wrote Kitty Krupat. Jacquelyn Dowd Hall remembered him as “a great, great soul” and marked his passing as an “overwhelming loss.” David demonstrated that one could be both a scholar and a committed radical. David’s combination of humanism, socialist politics, picket-line action, and equal rights philosophy won over many of us to the study, and what we came to see as a practice, of labor history. In his early life, he had worked as a farm laborer, army staff sergeant, radio announcer, and a machinist. As a shop-floor activist in labor’s left in the 1950s, he organized workers into machinist, electrical, and teamster unions until firings and anticommunist blacklisting forced him out of the trades and into graduate school. Montgomery received his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota and taught at the University of Pittsburgh (1963 to 1979), and as Farnam Professor and as professor emeritus at Yale University (1979 to 2011). He helped create the “new labor history” through six pathbreaking books and more than eighty-five book chapters and articles. David edited scores of books (including my first one) and the journal International Labor and Working-Class History, lectured at the University of Warwick and Oxford University in England, and in Europe, Canada, and Latin America. He helped establish labor history as an international field. David’s writings explicate diverse struggles of workers for dignity and a better life, and offer massive documentation and nuanced analysis of primary and secondary sources. They help us see history through the eyes of workers and place their activities at the core, and to better understand the intersections of class and race on the shop floor and in the exercise of state power. David’s experiences within labor’s left helped him understand class as more than an academic category and class consciousness as an experience of resistance to oppression and to regard the struggle against racism as fundamental to all other struggles. His last book, coedited with Horace Huntley, provides a rich collection of black worker oral testimonies on the freedom movement in Birmingham, Alabama. David’s introduction, typically, does not generalize but rather takes us step-by-step through 4 • February 2012 • OAH Outlook

the harsh postslavery imposition of Jim Crow and then into the outpouring black freedom struggle—showing, rather than just theorizing, how it is all connected. In his writing and in his life, David stressed the importance of unions: “whatever their political outlook, [unions] were for Montgomery places of labor solidarity,” wrote Eric Foner. He regularly walked picket lines, spoke at union conventions, and his steadfast solidarity gave heart to many during the tumultuous clerical strike at Yale in 1984. He also spoke at antiwar teach-ins during the Vietnam War era and in the George W. Bush years; fought for academic freedom and for better conditions for adjunct professors through the OAH and the American Association of University Professors; and more. As OAH President, David led us in refusing to abide the racism and antiunionism of a corporate hotel chain at our St. Louis convention, despite the significant monetary cost. The legacy of David’s scholarship and teaching will require a book in itself. To graduate students, wrote Shelton Stromquist, “he was gracious, thoughtful, while at the same time challenging.” He helped turn “a backwater of labor economics into an innovative, core subject of study in American history,” and salted academia “with a grand cadre of labor historians,” wrote David Brody. His work as a teacher has proven as important as his work as a writer. Those who have witnessed him in high gear are not likely to forget it. His animated, humorous, and supercharged lectures drew many students into history and labor studies. At the same time, his judgments remained ecumenical, his insights capacious, his concern for all people— not just those defined as “workers”— real and steadfast. David and Martel Wilcher married in 1952, a time when their interracial marriage was illegal in some states. Together, they provided a haven for students and activists, helping us think anew about the past and how to take a stand in the present. In an interview, one of their two sons, Claude, commented, “He felt that studying the way workers and their movements operated in fact led to a greater understanding of what people should be doing today, both in work places and in their lives.” ■ Michael Honey is Haley Professor of Humanities at the University of Washington, Tacoma, and past president of LAWCHA.

2012 OAH Community College Conference The Organization of American Historians is pleased to announce its sixth annual community college conference to be held June 14–16, 2012, at Lincoln Land Community College in Springfield, Illinois. The 2012 OAH Community College Conference will feature panels tailored to meet the specific needs and challenges of community college historians. The three-day conference revolves around plenary-style panels and small group sessions focused on subjects related to teaching American history. For more information, visit http://cc.oah.org/

The OAH Is Looking for Volunteers The OAH invites you to become involved in its mission by volunteering to serve on an OAH service or award committee. If you choose to volunteer, your information will be provided to the committee for consideration as they make appointments to replace committee members whose terms are expiring. If you would like to volunteer, sign into OAH Member Services at http:// www.oah.org/membership/portal/login .html and select “Volunteer” at the top.

Minutes of the 2011 OAH Annual Business Meeting Read brief reports from the OAH President, OAH Treasurer, OAH Executive Director, OAH Executive Editor, and OAH Nominating Board chair, presented at the 2011 annual business meeting of the Organization of American Historians in Houston, Texas. Visit: http://www.oah.org/about/papers/ reports/2011_OAH_Annual_Business_ Meeting_Minutes.pdf

2012 OAH Annual Business Meeting The OAH Business Meeting will be held immediately preceding the OAH Awards Ceremony and Presidential Address, Saturday April 21 at 3:30 p.m. All OAH members are encouraged to attend and participate in the governance of the organization. Proposals for action by the OAH shall be made in the form of ordinary motions or resolutions. As outlined in Article VIII, Section 3 of the OAH Constitution and Bylaws (http://www. oah.org/about/constitution.html), all such motions or resolutions must be submitted at least thirty days prior to the meeting (or March 22, 2012) to the OAH Executive Director Katherine M. Finley and the OAH Parliamentarian Jonathan Lurie. Proposals should be sent to the OAH, 112 N. Bryan Ave., Bloomington, IN 47408.


From the OAH Executive Director Katherine M. Finley

Behind the Fees of the Annual Meeting

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s we are busily preparing here at the OAH headquarters for the upcoming annual meeting in Milwaukee, it occurred to us that it may not be clear to members why the OAH charges what it does for registration for the meeting. I want to take this opportunity to let members know how those fees are used, how the other parts of the meeting are paid for, and what we are planning for future conventions. The OAH convention registration fees do not cover the per-person cost for attending the meeting. In fact, the actual cost per attendee at the 2011 annual meeting was $215, which covered only the most basic expenses of producing the meeting. Registration fees are not used to cover the costs of the exhibit hall, the receptions and social events, meals, tours, the printed Annual Meeting Program and Onsite Program, or giveaways such as the tote bags. Those items and events are made possible by exhibiting companies, sponsors, and advertisers. Regular registration rates for members and nonmembers also allow the OAH to offer subsidized registration fees to graduate students. The meeting registration fees for our 2012 joint meeting with the National Council on Public History (NCPH) are slightly higher than last year’s rates. However, these rates will allow attendees to enjoy two conferences for the price of one. By partnering with NCPH, we have not only designed a more diverse program with a wide variety of sessions and events but we are also able to offer twice as many tours, workshops, and networking events as we did in 2011. It may seem as though we could save money and lower registration fees by simply holding the meeting at a smaller non-convention hotel, but our space requirements dictate our use of large facilities. The OAH Annual Meeting requires approximately 95,000 square feet of meeting and exhibit space. These are fairly high space demands for a conference that attracts 2,000 to 3,000 individuals. Our space requirements limit the options for the OAH Annual Meeting and Book Exhibit to large metropolitan hotels or convention centers. Most often,

convention hotels provide the OAH with meeting space at no charge. Convention centers charge between $20,000 and $40,000 for space rental. Either option requires the OAH to contract for sleeping rooms with hotels to offset costs for meeting space. If the OAH did not contract with a hotel, and passed the meeting space charges along to attendeeswould rise to more than $300. If we were to take the drastic step of eliminating the book exhibit, the money we would save would almost surely be more than offset by a drop in attendance. Many attendees rate the book exhibits—and the opportunity to talk with publishers and browse the latest titles in American history—as a major reason they attend the conference. Not only would the lack of a book exhibit hall adversely impact attendance and the quality of the meeting but it would seriously decrease revenue for the conference, thus requiring even higher registration rates. Reduced attendance also would seriously impact the amount sponsors would be willing to pay. The OAH also could choose to refrain from contracting with hotels for sleeping rooms. However, there would be no guarantee that attendees could find rooms close to the convention center, making travel to the site of the meeting an issue. We negotiate vigorously to keep room rates low at contracted hotels, and we have had success in negotiating new contracts. We recently negotiated a contract with the Hilton Atlanta for $159 per-night rates in 2014, and we are working to secure that same rate for 2015. In these contracts, we also try to negotiate even more affordable hotel room rates for students. Spring is a very popular time of the year, but according to a recent survey sent to OAH meeting attendees, this time of the year is the best for the OAH conference because it comes between the AHA meeting in January and the history specialty meetings in the fall. The OAH understands that travel budgets for attending conferences are being significantly reduced or eliminated completely and that many attendees bear the costs of attending the conference out of their own pocket.

Last year, the OAH Executive Board created an ad hoc Meetings Task Force to study ways to make the meeting more productive for attendees, both in terms of scholarship and in professional development. The Program Committee and OAH staff are using results from the Task Force survey to guide the planning of the 2013 annual meeting. We are working to better serve underrepresented disciplines at the conference, to increase the number of state-of-the-field sessions, to offer various session lengths to accommodate discussion time, and to provide more career-oriented sessions. The organization continues to rely upon, and is grateful to, its many generous sponsors, advertisers, and supporters of the annual conference. We remain committed to negotiating reasonable room rates in major cities with easy airline accessibility and affordable airfares, and to keeping our expenses as low as possible. As a result, we expect that OAH members and attendees will enjoy a more dynamic, stimulating, and valuable meeting in 2012 and beyond. ■

News

of the Organization, Cont.

OAH recognized by the Indiana Society of Association Executives At the annual Indiana Association of Association Executives (ISAE) "Star Awards" December 8, the Organization of American Historians was awarded first place in two awards in recognition of excellence in association categories. Winning for best non-dues revenue programs, OAH was recognized for its Distinguished Lectureship Program (http://lectures.oah.org). The OAH was awarded first place in the association newsletters and bulletin category for its newly redesigned membership newsletter, OAH Outlook.

February 2012 • OAH Outlook • 5


From the Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero

A Presidential Charge to Improve Federal Records Management

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resident Barack Obama has designated the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) as one of the leading agencies in his Open Government Initiative to bring more participation, collaboration, and transparency to government. The president has charged NARA with overseeing a major overhaul in the way government agencies keep and manage the records they create. We accept this responsibility with enthusiasm. NARA will create a twenty-first century framework for records management involving special attention to electronic records of all kinds, as well as the transition of paper-based records into an electronic records management system. And while these activities will not be mentioned in textbooks about history and government, or grab headlines on the evening news, open access to government records is vital to democracy. Providing access to these records allow citizens to document their rights, hold government officials accountable, and have an unbiased history of our nation—its triumphs and tragedies, the moments of pride, and moments of shame. It is crucial to not only preserve important records of government, but to responsibly manage and provide access to them as well. Unfortunately this is not happening now. In 2010, we asked 245 federal agencies and their components to perform a selfassessment of the status of their records management program. Of the vast majority of agencies that responded, 95 percent were at a high to moderate risk of compromising the integrity, authenticity, and reliability of their records. These disturbing results reveal that many government records are at risk of being lost forever. In his memorandum to heads of executive departments and agencies in late November, the president recognized this risk. He is requiring every agency to designate a senior official responsible for overseeing records management, thereby increasing the visibility and authority of this vital function within agencies. A similar approach was effective in the past when managing classified records.

6 • February 2012 • OAH Outlook

Designating senior officials at agencies working with NARA’s Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO) not only provided improved declassification procedures, but improved access to researchers and the public to formerly-classified records. Not only does the memorandum call for departments and agencies to report to NARA on the status of its records management systems, they must do so by July 2012. Meanwhile, NARA will work with the Office of Management and Budget and the Associate Attorney General to create a new approach for records management with a focus on: • creating a federal records management framework that is more efficient and cost-effective; • promoting records management policies and practices that make it easier for agencies to fulfill their record-keeping mission; • maintaining accountability by documenting agency actions; • increasing public access to government records; • helping federal agencies preserve records with information relevant to litigation; and • transitioning from paper to electronic recordkeeping where feasible. President Obama’s call for action on records management comes at a crucial time for the National Archives. NARA has moved into the operations and maintenance stage of its Electronic Records Archives, which will serve as the repository for all permanently valuable electronic records created by federal departments and agencies. And as NARA continues making steady progress in its digitization programs—in some cases in partnership with private, non-government entities—we will not allow the twelve billion pieces of paper that document much of our past be left behind in the wake of the country’s digital future. Effectively managing these records is crucial to President Obama’s Open Government Initiative. Not only does the president’s charge explicitly engage the National Archives and Records Adminis-

tration in a major federal project since the Truman years, the Open Government Initiative will allow the federal government to better preserve and protect—and manage well—the records that are the backbone of our democracy. As the nation’s record keeper, this is what NARA is all about. ■

American Historians OAH Announces Completion of OAH/NPS State of History Study The OAH is pleased to announce the completion of Imperiled Promise: The State of History in the National Park Service, a study undertaken by the OAH members David Thelen, Gary B. Nash, Marla R. Miller, and Anne Mitchell Whisnant. For the report, which was commissioned by the National Park Service under the long-standing OAH/ NPS collaborative agreement, the OAH asked these four scholars to examine the state of history within the National Park Service. Over the last three years they have surveyed staff at park units, visited interpretive sites, and interviewed staff and administrators at parks and at the NPS headquarters. In this study they report on their findings and offer recommendations on how the NPS might continue to ensure that all visitors to national parks, national heritage areas, and national landmarks receive current, nuanced, and thoughtprovoking presentations of American history. For more information about Imperiled Promise and the OAH/NPS collaborative relationship, and to download a copy of the study, please visit http://www.oah.org. The 2012 OAH/ NCPH Annual Meeting will feature a session focused on Imperiled Promise in which the authors will discuss their findings and recommendations and lead a discussion about the study. More information about the session is available in the Annual Meeting program. We hope you’ll join us. Questions? Please contact Aidan J. Smith, OAH Public History Manager, at aidsmith@oah.org. ■


OAH Membership news Did you know that the OAH has created a single membership cycle for all of its members?

The OAH membership year is November 1 through October 31, which replaces the “anniversary-month” system that was in place for many years.

Why are we doing this?

The previous anniversary-month cycle proved confusing and was time consuming for the membership office. Having a single membership year will eliminate the year-round process of sending renewal notices and allow staff to improve member benefits and enhance services. With a single universal renewal date you will always know when your membership expires, making it easier to remember to renew and avoid any lapse in service.

How is the transition working?

Many members are already on the new renewal schedule. If you have recently renewed your membership or received a renewal notice, you may have noticed that your membership dues were an odd amount. To bring everyone up to the annual renewal date, many members are being asked to pay for a partial membership year in 2012. For example, under the old system, if you originally joined the OAH in February, you would have paid your annual membership renewal prior to the March 1 anniversary date. This year however, to synchronize with the new membership year that begins on November 1, your dues would be prorated for eight months to bring them to October 31.

How will this impact you?

This transition year may seem a little confusing at first, but we are working to make the process as smooth and easy as possible. Once all members are on the same membership cycle later this fall, you should find it much easier to maintain your OAH membership. You will no longer have to remember which month you joined, guess when your membership expires, or risk paying for too many or too few months. We appreciate your patience during this transition. If you have any questions about the new membership cycle during this transition year, please feel free to contact the membership office at 812-855-3030 or e-mail Amanda Bureau at abureau@oah.org. Thank you for your support and membership in the Organization of American Historians. ■

For the latest news from the OAH Visit www.oah.org/news

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ANNOUNCES THE AVAILABILITY FOR RESEARCH of the de Mattos Family Papers, Henry Langum Papers, John K. Langum Papers, Virginia A. Langum Papers, and David J. Langum, Sr. Papers, constituting the PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL PAPERS OF A MULTI-GENERATIONAL, MIDWESTERN PROFESSIONAL FAMILY, c. 1850-2010. The papers are particularly rich in materials on childhood, post-secondary education from professorial and student viewpoints, economics and financial regulation, legal education, scholarly research and publication, and the Protestant Portuguese in Illinois. Housed at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, Springfield, Illinois, the papers collectively total more than 70 archival boxes and include c. 7,000 photographic images plus CD voice records and DVD films. Travel grants are available from the Langum Charitable Trust. For details and guides to the papers see langumtrust.org, then go to Travel to Collections, or e-mail langumtrust@gmail.com.

February 2012 • OAH Outlook • 7


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American Historians

Non Profit Organization U.S. POSTAGE PAID Indianapolis IN Permit No. 9502

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OAH Outlook, February 2012  

OAH Outlook: A Membership Newsletter of the Organization of American Historians, provides news of the organization and the history professio...

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