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Minutes of the 7th Annual General Meeting held at Graz on 27th August 1993


  1. Minutes of the Sixth Annual General Meeting, 1992

    These were approved. No matters arising.

  2. President's Report on Activities 1992-1993

    The president has given a short report on the basis of the aims proposed by him during the AHC conference at Odense, two years ago, when he took up office. He referred to three main points:

    1. Scientific policy of the AHC (the "scientific life between conferences").

      The institution of workshops has proved to be successful, however, now it requires more formal procedures. Rene van Horik (NHDA - Leiden) will be responsible for contacting convenors and pulling relevant information. George Welling (University of Groningen) will distribute workshop information further by means of his FTP site GHETA . The publication of the increasing number of workshop volumes, so far realised by the Max Planck Institute for History in Göttingen, has to be transferred to a (small) publishing house. National associations are requested to mediate in submitting quotations. Basic requirements are: a rather low level of production costs, working according to a tight schedule, capacity for distributing.

    2. East-West program.

      During this year the previously started activities have been continued and further consolidated. More details are to be found under Reports of National Associations (point 6 below).

    3. Making the Association known to other associations.

      This point has got relatively slight attention so far. More could be done here.

  3. Combined reports of Secretary General, Membership Secretary (ad interim) and Treasurer

    The Secretary General reported on his not quite successful attempts to stimulate the flow of information within the AHC. The overall response to requests in his three newsletters has been very low. The most serious problem concerns the exchange of adminis trative data. For the first time in the history of the AHC all officers are spread over different countries. Since no meetings are organised between the annual conferences feed-back information about ongoing matters is missing. The Secretary General has submitted a schema for regular exchange of certain information between officials and external organisations (e.g. Edinburgh University Press).

    In October 1992 Brian Lickman suggested that he did not want to continue as Direct Membership Secretary. Drs. Toine Schijvenaars (University of Utrecht) has acted as secretary ad interim, since the beginning of 1993. The current administration contains only about thirty direct members. There are some reasons why one may expect a much higher number. To determine the correct number, both, the direct membership administration and that of the Treasurer, must be compared. Direct members who do not receive any information are kindly requested to contact Toine Schijvenaars directly.

    Because Deian Hopkin was unable to be present at Graz a short version of his report was presented by the Secretary General. The accounts of 1992 have been influenced by special, and unfortunate circumstances. A larger number of cheques and bankers' orders were not presented to the bank by the former Membership Secretary. It was not possible to retrieve the whole position, so that the AHC has lost L 1000 of income for 1991 as a result of this situation. Moreover, banker's orders from British subscribers contained sometimes money owned to the international account.

    Finally, because of the state of membership records, it was not so easy to determine how many members had paid for Historical Social Research. The Secretary General has sent some letters to Quantum to explain this situation. In the mean time, Quantum has decided to ask their subscribers to pay the subscription fees for Historical Social Research directly to them.

  4. Editor's Report

    Bob Morris reported on the successfully completed negotiations with Edinburgh University Press (EUP), who will publish the journal from volume 5.1. He made an appeal to all local organisations to provide EUP with all necessary information as requested in the Secretary General's newsletter.

    He proposed Dr. Steven Baskerville as next editor and a joint editorship of himself with Steven for two years (= volume 6 and 7). The prices for 1994 (vol. 6) are as follows: members of the AHC Eng L. 12, institutional subscriptions Europe Eng.L. 37, Overseas Eng.L. 41, North America US$ 72; half price to individuals not member of AHC. It is EUP's policy to review prices each year according to the inflation rate. It has been emphasised that local associations should know the due amount of money far enough in advance.

  5. Elections of New Officers

    In spring three vacancies have been announced: the office of Treasurer and that of the Direct Membership Secretary and the representative of the direct members. Because no nominees have been received for the latter function, it will be vacant at least till the next conference. For each of the first two vacancies a single nominee has been proposed, supported with the number of signatures required by the Constitution.

    Dr. Sheila Anderson has been elected as new Treasurer and

    Drs. Toine Schijvenaars as Direct Membership Secretary.

  6. Reports of National and Associated Organisations

    Attention: Since the number of represented countries is still growing, the President has kindly requested to hand in henceforth the reports in writing before the beginning of the Annual General Meeting.

    Austria: Membership remained stable during the last year. Important activity in the field of workshops: imaging and a winter workshop in Budapest.

    Canada: The Canadian Committee for History and Computing now stands at 38 members. It has co-sponsored a conference on the use of manuscript censuses at the University of Guelph, has organised sessions at the annual meeting of the Canadian Historical Association, has continued the publication of its newsletter and has maintained its electronic discussion list. CIS: A fruitful conference has been organised, producing two volumes of proceedings. The Autumn School in Moscow last year was successful. The teaching of historical computing gets a firmer foothold at Russian universities now.

    Estonia: The Estonian Association for History and Computing celebrated its first anniversary in May 1993. During the passed year it has been rather successful in propagating computer-based historical research, also thanks to the co-operative role of the Department of History at the Tartu University. Within the framework of TEMPUS and of the European Core Curriculum History and Computing it has prepared a feasibility study on the introduction of history and computing into the Estonian educational system.

    France: The academic year 1992-1993 has brought up some promising changes, however, the French association reports not having been able to solve some older fundamental problems, as the slightly decreasing number of members and the difficulty to find people for leading positions. On the contrary, promising signs are the success of the newsletter, and new activities (like the summer school at Caen and the planned national congress next summer in Rennes).

    Hungary: The Hungarian association belongs to the relatively young ones, founded just before the Bologna conference, previous year. The passed year was full of activities. The association is striving for a better communication structure and wants to carry on meeting in Eastern European as it has started at Uzhgorod.

    Italy: The proceedings of the last year's conference are almost ready. They will be circulated in close co-operation with the AHC.

    Low Countries (VGI): The VGI has now about 300 members in the Netherlands and Belgium. Information is exchanged by means of a newsletter (six times a year) and a journal appearing once a year. Together with the NHDA (the Dutch data archive), it supports a co-operation project with its Russian counterpart.

    Nordic Association: The newsletter was published for the second year. It covered subjects as data archives, special software and membership issues. The collecting of membership fees has been re-organised in co-operation with the Norwegian Postal Giro, which will do the invoicing. Denmark will organise a Nordic conference not later than June 1994. Sweden has offered to organise the international AHC conference in Stockholm in 1997. Norway will be responsible for bi-annual summer schools in Norway and in the Baltic states.

    Poland: The Polish association has some difficulties to overcome concerning the organisational forms. It counts now 21 members. Until now no membership fees have collected. A list of machine-readable data is being prepared and will be published soon. The association presented a report on the current state of teaching history and computing in Poland and the prospects for employment of historians with computer skills. This report was also produced within the framework of the AHC workshop on the core curriculum of history and computing (see also Estonia).

    Portugal: No report.

    Spain: The creation of a good survey of on going projects and the sharing of data will get more attention.

    Switzerland There is increasing interest for data-archiving.In the autumn a conference has been planned on regional history with focus on broader co-operation between regions.

    United Kingdom: The association has now about 200 members. Last year's conference was very successful. It participated in the Data Archives Workshop and organised the Workshop on Electronic Information Resources.

    Germany: The newsletter was very positively received. Next year a German association may be founded. Some meetings have been planned (Hannover, Goettingen).

    South America: The Secretary General reported on the situation in Latin America. The Brazilian Association for History and Computing organised its second conference in the autumn of 1992 (at Ponta Grossa). At that occasion its charter was approved and it was decided to apply for membership of the AHC. The third conference will take place from 3 through 5 November at Salvador (State of Bahia). The Brazilian Association has its own newsletter, and a journal published on disk. The idea exists to create an umbrella organisation in the form of the South American Association for History and Computing.

    North America: Mutual co-operation deserves more attention. In view of this a workshop has been proposed for the conference at Nijmegen or Montreal. The President summons organisers for the European part.

    S.I.D.E.S: Last year showed a stable membership. S.I.D.E.S. organised a session on the use of computers in historical demography at the Second Italic-Iberian Congress. It will catalogue and distribute computer programs for this field of study, created by its members.

    INTERQUANT: No report.

    QUANTUM: Joint subscription to both Historical Social Research and History and Computing was discussed. Data archiving has become a main point of activity.

  7. Workshops
    The President presented a report on the status and activities of workshops during the passed year. The report includes also a definition of the phenomenon 'workshop' and some guidelines how to proceed.

    To improve the flow of information, George Welling will make written material available by means of his FTP site GHETA. The following plans / intentions were discussed for 1993-1994:

    • European Core Curriculum: next meeting in Paris (September), small team proposed.
    • Electronically Generated Records: next year's theme unsure; newsletter planned.
    • Image Processing: Reported on current state.
    • Occupational Coding: will continue.
    • Optical Character Recognition: not yet sure about future plans.
    • Data Archiving: workshop volume will be ready about May. Guidelines for data documentation in preparation.
    • Multi-media: unsure about next year.
    • History of the University: will continue, next meeting London, 1994.
    • Algorithmic Descriptions: meeting planned for 1993/1994; volume to be produced for Nijmegen.
    • Intellectual Property: the convenor will find out the willingness for participation.
    • Abstract Data Modelling: will meet first in fall '93, probably in Rome.
    • TEI: uncertain.
    • Historical Benchmark: disbanded.
    • Benchmark by Example: uncertain.
    • National Styles of Quantification in History: future plans not yet quite sure, CIS has showed interest in organising a meeting.

    Other, partly on going activities have been discussed briefly or referred to: documentation of algorithms for name comparison (G. Thorvaldsen); Repository of co-ordinates for historical cartographic software (H.J. Marker). The bibliography on history and computing is being produced now. Co-operation will be very welcome. The idea of a handbook (not a textbook) was proposed (P. Denley): how to get into the various areas of history and computing. It should cover main problems plus literature.

  8. Future Events
    Annual conferences:
    1994 Nijmegen (30 August - 2 September). Half-day courses on different subjects are planned in connection with the conference.
    1995 Montreal (24-26 August). Suggestions for sub-themes are welcome.
    1996 Moscow, last days of August. Details next year.
    1997 Stockholm.
    Last year the President expressed already the hope that about 1996 a Southern European country would host the annual conference again. The year 1998 is still free in this respect.

    Other events:

    • Eastern European Conference at Budapest. This meeting is intended to be a follow-up of the Uzhgorod conference.
    • Co-operation Tartu - Moscow. The University of Tartu will host a meeting on the intersection of the history of Estonia and Russia. It will build upon the long tradition of co-operation between Estonian and Russian quantitative historians.
    • Round Table Electronic Archives at Warsaw Computing Centre. The meeting will have an interdisciplinary character; also information scientists will be invited. Special interest for oral history and computing.
    • Salzburg Summer school. The summer school will alternate between the universities of Bergen (Norway) and Salzburg. With regard to Austria J. Ehmer will take over the organisation from G. Botz.
  9. Any other business
    The conference organisers were thanked for their work and hospitality.

Last update: August 19, 1994. George M. Welling

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