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Establishing a Framework for “Scientific” History Scholarship

Establishing a Framework for “Scientific” History Scholarship

Chapter:
(p.12) (p.13) Chapter One Establishing a Framework for “Scientific” History Scholarship
Source:
History's Babel
Author(s):
Robert B. Townsend
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226923949.003.0002

Herbert Baxter Adams, the first secretary of the American Historical Association (AHA), declared that its creation ushered in “a new historical movement” that would set the stage for “modern” and “scientific” historical research practices. In 1876, Adams joined the new Johns Hopkins University in 1876 to teach history. Over the next twenty-five years, the discipline developed four basic elements of professionalization for history scholarship: an idealized site for employment in academia, an ideology focused on the “scientific” study of history, a system of training and certification, and an institutional apparatus for disseminating the fruits of the new scholarship. The establishment of the AHA is often considered the fifth element, but its role remained unclear during the period. Under Adams’s direction, the AHA introduced a scholarly publishing program shortly after it was founded in 1884.

Keywords:   history, Herbert Baxter Adams, American Historical Association, academia, professionalization, scholarship, training, certification, scholarly publishing, historical research

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