President’s 2007/08 Message to the Membership

As you may recall from my letter of last year, your contributions enabled us to make grants to the IHR of approximately $16,000. The money funded important acquisitions for the library, as always, and bursaries to help graduate students from North America to attend the summer History Lab conference on the theme of “Turning Points” (June 26-27).

The academic year which is now ending has proved a time of transition at the IHR, in that David Bates stepped down as director on March 14 in order to take up a new post as Professor of Medieval History at the University of East Anglia. He will spend the coming year preparing to give the Ford Lectures in 2010. He worked hard and effectively during his years at the helm of the IHR, and we are most grateful to him for his excellent service to our profession. The Leverhulme Professor of Comparative Metropolitan History, Derek Keene, is serving as Acting Director until the new Director, Professor Miles Taylor, takes over in the autumn.

An important problem that we have been trying to address is that of access to digital historical sources on-line for those members of our profession who teach at institutions whose libraries cannot afford the subscriptions that must be paid to provide access to these vital materials. I will be discussing a possible solution or at least partial solution with IHR staff members when I am in London in July and very much hope to be able to make an announcement about it later this year.

Please renew your membership in the AFIHR so we can continue to support the work of the IHR from this side of the Atlantic. More information is available elsewhere on this website, and we remain grateful to Newton Key for his excellent work as our webmaster. A contribution of $45 or more annually to the American Friends of the IHR confers membership in the Institute and facilitates. All officers and board members of the AFIHR serve without compensation. Administrative costs are minimal, consisting of mailing expenses, occasional technical services, and accounting fees. Therefore nearly every dollar contributed is forwarded to the Institute in order to help pay for some aspect of its work.

Thank you for your past support.

Our annual meeting of the Board of Directors of American Friends of the IHR was held in October 2008 in Cincinnati. Our next meeting will be held in Louisville, KY on November 6-8, 2009.

Sincerely yours,

Sears McGee