The History Cooperative; accessed on September 5, 2005, and March 23, 2006.
Founded in 2000 by the American Historical Association (AHA), the Organization of American Historians (OAH), the University of Illinois Press, and the National Academies Press for the purpose of offering electronic editions of leading journals in history, the History Cooperative now boasts 18 additional partners and 21 titles.
The founders of the History Cooperative represent the two poles of professional historical studies today: The AHA and OAH are the principal professional associations for American historians, and Illinois and National Academies Presses are leading publishers of historical scholarship. Although the site is intended primarily for professional historians, specifically those who are members of one of the participating professional associations or subscribers-at-large to one or several of the featured journals, non-members and non-subscribers may buy a research pass for full access to the content of the History Cooperative site.
For most historians, the History Cooperative website is an access point to the electronic editions of the American Historical Review and the Journal of American History, although some will appreciate the collateral content accessible from the History Cooperative's home page. Articles appearing in the American Historical Review are now available free of charge, but users must subscribe or join one of the associations to access the full content of the book reviews. Other titles include Common-place, Environmental History, The History Teacher, the Massachusetts Historical Review, the Oral History Review, and the Oregon Historical Quarterly. Search options allow for basic keyword searches and more advanced searches for specific authors or titles. The site is easy to navigate.
Although the journals themselves are exceedingly rich, the collateral content is rather thin. Conference proceedings from 2001, 2003, and 2005 are currently available. The Cooperative's e-Library draws exclusively on the resources of the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University. Two resources stand out, though: the Historical Maps Online offered by the University of Illinois Library and the University of Illinois Press, and the Booker T. Washington papers also offered by the Illinois Press.(1) Historical Maps Online features excellent digitized images of maps of the Americas, and the Washington papers cover the 14 volumes of Booker T. Washington's writings, including his autobiographical works and a cumulative index.
The History Cooperative is an essential research tool for historians in need of electronic access to scholarly articles. The Cooperative provides a valuable service in offering these journals to the public, and it is hoped that the site can expand its offerings for history generalists and specialists alike. Preservationists will appreciate the scholarly articles on regional history and the excellent exhibit reviews in the major historical journals.
Eve M. Duffy
1. The Booker T. Washington papers website was previously reviewed in CRM: The Journal of Heritage Stewardship 1, no. 1 (Fall 2003): 148-149.