President’s 2012 Report to the Membership

At the NACBS conference in Denver (Nov. 19-21), Jason Kelly and I organized and co-chaired an informational semi-plenary session designed to introduce scholars (especially younger ones) to the services on offer from a group of research organizations. It was part of the celebration of the 90th anniversary of the IHR and intended in part to encourage attendees to consider joining the AFIHR. Our panel members were from the IHR (Miles Taylor), the Huntington Library (Steve Hindle), the Folger Library (Kathleen Lynch), the Walpole Library (Maggie Powell), the Beinecke Library (Kathryn James), the W.A. Clark Library at UCLA (Rebecca Fenning), and the Ransom Center at UT-Austin (Rich Oram). After brief remarks from them, a lively Q & A session followed with questions and comments from a large audience.

At our board meeting, Professor Miles Taylor, the IHR director, encouraged us to inform AFIHR members that the IHR’s magazine, Past and Future, is available on-line and provides us all an excellent means of keeping up with what is happening there. He also discussed the IHR’s temporary move to the South Block of the Senate House while the old quarters in the north block are being refurbished. We were pleased to hear the seminar program continues to thrive and that a number of the seminars are being made available as podcasts and in some cases webcasts that we can have direct access to in our offices, homes, or classrooms. You may register for notices of new podcasts at History SPOT for free.

As always, we also decided how to allocate the funds that you, our members, contributed, and the result was grants for library purchases ($3500), digitization projects ($3000), bursaries to support participation by graduate students from North America in the summer History Lab conference at the IHR ($2000), and this year’s Anglo-American Conference ($1000).

We thanked board member Nancy Ellenberger for many years of service as our membership secretary. This important task will now be performed by a new board member, Paul Hammer (University of Colorado).

I am also pleased to announce that we have negotiated a discount of approximately two thirds for AFIHR on a subscription to the Bibliography of British and Irish History (BBIH). Formerly available free from the Royal Historical Society, this important and ever growing database is currently provided by Brepolis to subscribing libraries or individual subscribers (currently ₤110). I expect to be able to give full details in my June message to you all. Please note that the individual subscriptions will be for the calendar year beginning January and that the IHR will be supplying its list of subscribers to Brepolis in November. I am most grateful to Miles Taylor and his colleagues at the IHR for helping us create this valuable option.  Information about it will also be posted on the AFIHR website and described in more detail in my spring newsletter.

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 ($30 for graduate students) confers membership in the Institute.

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.

Sincerely yours,

Sears McGee