Nearly a century ago, representatives of seven state historical societies gathered in Lincoln, hoping to organize a new historical association to encourage collaboration, improve professional standards, and highlight our regional and national histories. Little did they know that the organization they founded, the Mississippi Valley Historical Association, and the new historical journal they eventually created, The Mississippi Valley Historical Review, would outgrow the Midwest, take on national dimensions, and evolve into the Organization of American Historians and The Journal of American History. What originated at the Nebraska State Historical Society in 1907 has become the largest professional association of American historians in the nation, numbering eleven thousand college and university professors, high school teachers, archivists, public historians, students, and institutional subscribers.
The 2006 OAH Midwest Regional Conference returns us full circle to celebrate the
OAH’s origins, history, and midwestern roots. The program presents an exciting
array of sessions, speakers, and events that highlight the range of historical topics
that our profession explores, as well as the variety of ways in which we interpret,
teach, and share what we know about the substance and practice of American history.
The opening, plenary session surveys the origins and history of the OAH, as
well as providing informed perspectives about the organization’s future.