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In 2006 five institutions involved in opening up historical documents started a network called Porta Historica. The aim of the network is to bring together, at the international level, scholars and institutions that are involved or interested in editing, publishing (in print or digitally) and analyzing historical sources in a broad sense (editions, reference works, databases etc.), in order to promote cooperation among these scholars and institutions and to increase their expertise.
The founding members were the Ecole Nationale des Chartes (ECN) – National School of Palaeography and Archival Studies – in Paris (France), the Institute of Historical Research of the University of London (UK), the Commission Royale d’Histoire/ Koninlijke Commissie voor Geschiedenis (CRH/KCG) – Royal Committee for History – in Brussels (Belgium), the Institut für Mittelalterforschung (IMAF) – Institute for Medieval Research – in Vienna (Austria) and Huygens Instituut voor Nederlandse Geschiedenis (Huygens ING) – Huygens Institute for the History of The Netherlands – in The Hague.
The founding institutes organized a modest network, establishing a board and a charter, set up a website (http://www.portahistorica.eu ) with reports on its activities and reviews, held annual meetings about the methodology and techniques of editing, and formulated quality criteria for digital editions of historical sources.
Now the next step we are taking is to expand our network to all scholars and institutions in Europe that are involved with or interested in historical sources.
What are the advantages of becoming a member of Porta Historica?
In the first place, in the membership area you will find a membership list giving the names and institutional affiliation of scholars and details of individual institutes, with e-mail addresses and URL’s, as well as information about the period, documents and subject in which every member specializes or takes an interest. This will make it easy to get in touch with members who have the same interests as you.
Second, in the membership area there is the option to discuss specific topics with each other. To make a start, we placed on the forum a list of topics and themes that might be of interest to you to discuss. But feel free to discuss other problems or solutions, that you will want to share with other scholars. Every member may start a new conversation.
The website has a special area’s for forthcoming international events, such as conferences on historical sources and other news. As a member you will have the opportunity to add your own events or news to the list and draw attention to them.
We are planning to organize a conference every other year on the editing, opening up and analysis of historical documents. The first conference will be held in The Hague at the end of this year or maybe some months later. As a member of Porta Historica you will be kept informed about these conferences: we will send you the Calls for Papers, warn you about deadlines and provide information about transport, accommodation etc.
And in addition to all this, membership is free!
How can you join the network?
It is very simple. On the Porta Historica website you will find a button in the left-hand corner which says ‘Join our network’. Just click on it and follow the instructions: fill in the application form that will be send it to Eef Dijkhof, secretary general of Porta Historica (firstname.lastname@example.org).
How can you help to develop the network?
- In the first place: become a member !
- Second, forward this mail to all scholars and institutions in your own network that might be interested, in order to make Porta Historica as well-known as possible.
- Inform your colleagues about the network: put this announcement on your university, department or institute website.
- Become an active member of Porta Historica: there are several interesting roles available
- We need a moderator for discussions on the forum
- We are looking for a coordinator for the news section of the website
- We are interested in members who would like to join
- the website committee
- the committee for reviews
- the program committee for the first Porta Historica conference
- the planning committee for future conferences
- the board of Porta Historica
- in the future we might think of an e-newsletter, or even a peer reviewed e-journal.
I hope we can welcome you soon as a member of our network.
We realize that it is not inconceivable that you receive this email several times. We apologize in advance for this inconvenience.
Best wishes on behalf of the board,
Andrea Rzihacek, Institut für Mittelalterforschung (Vienna), Chair
Guy Vanthemsche, Commission Royale d’Histoire/Koninklijke Commissie voor Geschiedenis (Brussels)
Jane Winters, Institute of Historical Research (London)
Amélie de Miribel, École Nationale des Chartes (Paris)
Eef Dijkhof, Huygens Institute of the History of The Netherlands (The Hague), secretary general