Donations - Appeals from H-Net President
October 18, 2005
Dear H-Net Subscriber:
H-Net is a very important resource to everyone who visits our website, but our subscribers -- you -- are particularly important to us as contributors who make H-Net's online communities come alive. So I am happy to report to you that since we last wrote you almost a year ago, H-Net has made important progress toward its goal of building a sustainable and self-supporting organization for you and for a new generation of H-Net subscribers.
We have been granted tax-exempt status by the Internal Revenue Service. We also have developed an ambitious strategic plan for the next three years that envisions a major redesign of our web site to incorporate the latest and most secure content delivery technologies; a new management system for H-Net Reviews; a membership system to enable us to develop sustainable partnerships with other scholarly societies, corporate donors, and the scholarly publishing community; and new ways to provide direct support to the hard-working community of editors who publish and promote your ideas to the broader academic community. All of this means better, more secure, more accessible, and more useful service and content for you.
H-Net has come a long way since it was unveiled to the world in 1994 as a collection of email-based discussion lists; our growth and development have raised the stakes in what we do as more and more of you have come to rely upon H-Net as the communications center of your various fields of interest and expertise.
For example, during this recent season of natural disasters along the southern U.S. Gulf coast, subscribers to H-Louisiana used our network to seek out information about surviving archival and historical materials and identify those in need of urgent care.
And this past summer, alert editors and subscribers at H-New-Jersey were able to build a groundswell of opinion to persuade the state governor to purchase for future generations a collection of priceless colonial-era documents that were being auctioned away by Christieís.
H-Net is also engaged in a partnership with the Organization of American Historians to assess the growing impact on the historical profession of the federal governmentís Teaching American History program, which so far has spent a half-billion dollars on in-service history education for teachers.
These activities are a few of the benefits H-Net provides its readers and users -- they are in addition to our increasingly popular Job Guide, H-Net Reviews (which continues to grow at a terrific pace), and of course our vibrant, informative, and spam-free discussion networks.
These initiatives require a major investment in programming, equipment, and operations - both by our hosts at Michigan State University and through the support of friends such as yourself, at a recurring operating cost that now stands at approximately $250,000 per year, in addition to MSU's substantial and generous support of our organization.
The H-Net Council is appealing for your support so that we can continue to make these services and our growing archive of content free and accessible to everyone.
Please help us in this effort. A contribution of at least $25 by each of our active subscribers will fund the programming, staffing, content development, and technology improvements for H-Net's next generation of users.
Donations are tax-exempt and can be made one of three convenient ways:
- The preferred and most secure method is online via a Verisign secure
- If you donít have internet access or you have technical difficulties
donating online, you can give by mail; please provide a return address so we
can send you a receipt and properly credit your gift; checks should be
H-Net Donations 141h Old Horticulture 506 East Circle Drive East Lansing, MI 48824 or
- by phone (517) 432-5134, during regular business hours (8-12, 1-5 Eastern time) at Michigan State University. Our staff processes donations through the site above, so please call only if you are unable to use the website to make your gift, or if you have a specific question for us.
This message comes to you through a listserv created only for this purpose. Its subscriber list will be erased at the conclusion of this appeal. You can also unsubscribe by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, from the account that received this message, with SIGNOFF H-DONATIONS in the body of the message. General questions about the appeal can be directed to email@example.com. Please do not send credit card or other sensitive financial information to us via email; use the secure web site above.
I thank you for your time and your generous support for H-Net!
Professor of History
Washburn University 2005
President, H-Net: Humanities & Social Sciences Online
On behalf of the H-Net officers, editors, and Council
April 21, 2004
Dear H-NET Community,
In this message, I wanted to mention the "Rest of the Story," - - - the other dimensions of the H-NET endeavor. H-NET is made strong by substantive discussion networks (more than 140) and book reviews (more than 1,900 annually). However, H-NET does more than this. As any graduate student will tell you, H-NET is one fo the key weekly providers of job information from the Job Guide. The Job Guide is updated weekly with jobs in humanities and social sciences, in teaching, non-teaching, and administration areas. As any H-NET editor knows, oftentimes, they are approached by strangers at conferences and fervently thanked for the Job Guide. H-NET also provides H-Announce - both online and at the Web site. It is a wonderful resource for inquiring about all dimensions of professional academic life, from grants to conferences to the National Humanities Coalition Updates. In the News section, H-NET publicized the status of intellectual life in Iraq with _Opening the Doors: Intellectual Life and Academic Conditions in Post-War Baghdad_ a report on academic life in postwar Iraq. Recently, H-LEVANT editor Keith Watenpaugh of LeMoyne College, traveled with a group of colleagues to Iraq to assess conditions there. H-NET has produced special reports on teaching about September 11, resources and ideas about teaching online, as well as other features.
Although H-NET has a wealth of ideas and resources, I believe that we are more than these parts - we are a community. Why is this community important? Because we live in an age of paradox - Due to modern media, we have more information and it is more accessible. Yet it seems that the more information becomes available the more diffused the message. Thus, we have the irony of more information and less discernment in the comprehension and effect of the information. What strikes me is that we are now taking for granted, what ten years ago we never envisioned. Therefore, I think on a deeper level then - that the principle of scholarly moderation and the decentralized nature of H-NET's discussion networks, allows depth and range in the ordering of important intellectual issues. We all should be proud of that accomplishment, because each one of you has contributed to that positive reality.
In conclusion, although there are significant accomplishments that all of us have made possible, I think we can do more to lead online teaching and scholarship as I stated in my Vision Statement in January: http://www.lcsc.edu/mlevine/PDF/vision04.pdf.I will be expanding on these ideas with H-NET Editors in the near future. I also look forward to your ideas on the next step for H-NET. My point is that we can create our own future together. Therefore, I am asking you to take a moment and reflect how email and the Web have changed your life and to answer for yourself - what H-NET has meant to your professional and personal life. So far we have had 400 H-NET subscribers donate to the campaign. We need *your* support too! Donations of ALL sizes are important. If even half of the H-NET subscribers would donate at the $5, $25, $100, or $500 level, we could create a stable funding stream and expand our abilities in the world of online teaching and scholarship. You can donate online, by mail, or by phone in a secure environment at: http://www.h-net.org/donations/ Also consider as you are ordering your summer reading, we also have updated the Reviews section with a click through to all the major book vendors, so that if you click to them through H-NET, a portion of that purchase price will go to support your networks on H-NET. You can click ON to the vendors from the review page or at the book reviews themselves. Do not leave the idea of "donating to H-NET" to others - it is something that you can do today.
On behalf of the H-NET Council and Officers, I want to thank all of you who have taken time to contribute to this campaign. We know you have many commitments and many demands on your time as well. Your personal messages, your ideas, and your taking the time and effort to make these contributions have meant a great deal to all of us.
Sincerely, Marilyn A. Levine, President H-NET
April 13, 2004
Dear Editors & Readers:
As our H-NET Campaign continues, I would like to highlight the area of H-NET Reviews, and encourage you to support H-NET in continuing to deliver this wonderful service. The H-NET Book Reviews began as a small enterprise in H-NET, but they have gained credibility and indeed, we are the largest publisher of book reviews in academe. H-Net published about 1900 Book Reviews annually. The H-NET Book Reviews are unique because they allow unparalleled, in-depth analysis of the book, possible dialogue, and timely publication. This gives great support to the professional aims of any aspiring academic. I'd like to encourage you to not just view Book Reviews in your own list at: http://www.h-net.org/reviews/
The entire Book Review section is a treasury of information. They are a good tool for preparing for one's research, intellectual discussions, and as exercises to allow students to learn how to analyze the literature. For example, in another life, I am Chair of a Division of Social Sciences. Last week I was interviewing some candidates to teach a US History Survey and as some of the most inspiring people are PhD candidates, we began to talk about their research. We began to discuss the literature on identity, and later I was able to follow it up by going to the H-NET Book Review Section and typing in an advanced search for Identities, getting more than one hundred entries, with major information provided so that I know if I want to look at those reviews and possibly the books themselves. In addition to normal search criteria, you can search by discussion network, by year, and by keyword. One can use H-NET Book Reviews for research and for teaching.
Here is a sample of the first entry under identities:
[Excerpt] David J. Baker and Willy Maley, eds. British Identities and English Renaissance Literature. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2002. xvi + 297 pp. Illustrations, notes, bibliography, index. $60.00 (cloth), ISBN 0-521-78200-7.
Reviewed by Krishan Kumar, Department of Sociology, University of Virginia. Published by H-Albion (February, 2004)
Literature and History in the Study of Early Modern British Identities
This timely and important collection of essays, mainly by students of literature, is placed squarely within the "new British history" pioneered by John Pocock in the 1970s and 1980s. Pocock argued that the history of Britain, or of the United Kingdom, had largely been English history writ large. This had led not just to the neglect of the parts played by the other peoples of the British Isles but to a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of the United Kingdom itself, as a culture and a polity. . .
The above brief excerpt exemplifies the issues of access, depth, and quality that are the hallmarks of H-NET Reviews. The Reviews are an important reason why you should take a few moments and support H-NET by giving a donation this week. H-NET is a non- profit organization that has free access to all reviews, all discussion logs, and important services. Donations of all sizes are important because only together can we make sure that H-NET can continue. There are more than 140,000 H-NET subscribers. If even half of the H-NET subscribers would donate at the $5, $25, $100, or $500 level, we could create a stable funding stream and expand our abilities in the world of electronic scholarship. All you need to do is to go to the donations page at: http://www.h-net.org/donations/
You can donate online, by mail, or by phone in a secure environment. We also have updated the Reviews section with a click through to all the major book vendors, so that if you click to them through H-NET, a portion of that purchase price will go to support your networks on H-NET. You can click ON to the vendors from the review page or at the book reviews themselves.
Finally, I want to thank ALL of you who have been so generous with your donations and kind notes. The list of Donors on the Donation Page does not reflect all the people who have donated. You need to click the box to be listed (in protection of people's privacy), but the council and officers have been very encouraged and are looking forward to hearing from you during this last week of the campaign. So keep those comments on your discussion networks - coming in - along with your donations.
Sincerely, Marilyn A. Levine, President H-NET
April 6, 2004
Dear Editors & Readers:
First, I want to thank everyone who donated posts, ideas, and of course monetary contributions to our Support H-NET Day last week. As I mentioned in a post last week, this was a kickoff for a two week period of reflection on H-NET and making sure it can survive, given the current lack of support we have experienced in higher education; Therefore, I wanted to highlight the value added areas that H-NET brings to our lives. In this message, I will discuss the more than 140 Discussion Networks. A few years ago, we called these Discussion Lists, but we are experiencing a change in consciousness about electronic scholarship; and the name changed to Discussion Networks, which reflected both the technological change and the difference in our emerging mindsets about what constitutes a community. The idea of a community is to develop mutual objectives, communication and to share. While my experience with email is that it has not lessened but *increased* my workload, the Discussion Networks can save us all time and effort. For example, given the current conflicts in the Middle East, the late Professor Said's theory of Orientalism is a key idea to understand. If I just search H-ASIA, where I am a co-editor, 161 threads emerge. However, in doing a search for all Discussion Logs, I discovered 1,103 threads that used Orientalism, viewable by 10, 25, 50 or 100 messages. The sheer breadth of these entries by searching on just one word is enormous. From H-Buddhism (incorporated in a Conference Announcement) to H-Ideas (Eastern Influences on Hume), these threads can be used for scholarship, teaching, and self-reflection. Why not spend 10 minutes at the Discussion Logs at: http://www.h-net.org/lists/
In addition to the logs, there are Web sites for every single one of the 140+ discussion networks. These Web sites have useful information on recent posts, book reviews, resources, links, and sometimes educational materials such as syllabi.
The promotion of Discussion Networks does not just involve the production of discussion and access to logs-- it requires the training of editors, the development of new tools, the attention to issues of intellectual property rights and editorial oversight to uphold the values of scholarly moderation. For example, at the next year's AHA the H-NET Council is developing ideas to suggest to H-NET Editors for an Editors Workshop a day preceding the conference. As I mentioned above, a community is a mutual endeavor that means that the H-NET Council, Editors, and Staff NEED your support too. Many of these initiatives have been funded through grants and the generosity of Michigan State University. We have no choice now but to move to a phase where we rely on ourselves now and this means that our editors and readers must step up to the plate and contribute. Please, do not wait for others to do this. Whether you are reading this from H-Quilt or H-MedAnthro or H- West; EVERYONE is part of this community.
Whether you can contribute $5 or $50 or $100 IT ALL COUNTS and it demonstrates YOUR commitment to this community. Please forward this message to others that may want to join our efforts, and remember to take a moment and go to the H-NET Donations Page.
Allow me to review the donation possibilities. I hope you will consider making a donation at: http://www.h-net.org/donations/ You can donate online, by mail, or by phone in a secure environment. Donations of all sizes are important because only together can we make sure that H-NET can continue. As the Executive Director, Mark Kornbluh, mentioned last week it takes about $200,000 a year to pay technicians, editors, and other staff – as well as the hardware necessary to develop and host the discussion networks, job guides, book reviews, announcements, and other initiatives. In addition to the donations page we also have a click through to all the major book vendors, so that if you click to them through H-NET, a portion of that purchase price will go to support your networks on H-NET. You can go to this site at: http://www.h-net.org/reviews/ You can click ON to the vendors from the review page above, or at the book reviews.
I appreciate your consideration.
Marilyn A. Levine, President H-NET