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vol. 12, no. 1, Fall 2009
This issue of the Journal for the Association for History and Computing (JAHC) marks a period of transitions: transition from one editor to another, of the journal from one platform to another, and of the profession from one era into the next. So, appropriately, this issue looks back on the history of the journal and where both it and the profession may be heading in the future.
Jeffrey Barlow’s article, “Back in the Twentieth Century: The Development of The Journal of the Association for History and Computing 1997-2009” serves as a perfect introduction to those issues. As founding editor of the Journal, Jeffrey was seminal in getting JAHC started and his thoughts help to frame the discussion of how the history of the journal may help historians, digital humanists, and technologists understand future directions for those interested in the intersections of history and computing.
David Staley, formerly executive director of the Association, discusses the philosophy behind many of Jeffrey’s observations. “Open Access” was and is still an important philosophical issue underlying much of how electronic material continues to be published, and “JAHC and Open-Access Publishing” helps us to understand how early e-journal publishers thought about those processes, many of which are still relevant ten years later.
Scott Merriman echoes much of what Staley says in “The View from Here: The First Ten Years of the JAHC” reflecting on both the past and present of the journal. As an active participant and editor for much of the journal’s history, Merriman brings a unique view on the social systems of journals and how they are not only a product of philosophical visions of founding editors or executive directors, but also the members of the association who keep journals running on a day to day basis.
Lynn Westney, the editor of “E-Journals in and out” then puts all of these articles into a larger context of the history of e-journals with her piece “E-Journals – Inside and Out: The First Decade.“
Finally, we have more than just a review of JAHC, but a continuation of the work JAHC has done over the past ten years. Gabrielle Michalek and Jennie Benford provide information about a current digitization project for Jewish newspapers in Pittsburgh. In many ways, JAHC was created to provide a communication space for those creating new digital histories. Clearly that mission is as important now as it was ten years ago.
Lynn Westney in her newest installment of “E-Journals in and out” reiterates this point. E-journals continue to be an important form of communication, and JAHC was one of many that opened the doors for it to begin.
In all, it is amazing to think of how JAHC has and will continue to evolve. This anniversary issue helps to explore how the mission of the journal has both changed and has remained the same. Undoubtedly it will continue to serve an important role in shaping the future of history and computing in an increasingly digital world.