Society for Historians of the Early American Republic (SHEAR) records
Held at: University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts [Contact Us]3420 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6206
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
The Society for Historians of the Early American Republic (SHEAR) was established in 1977 because its founding members felt that there was a need for a group dedicated to the history of the United States from 1789 to 1850, a period neglected by most other organizations and journals. The mission of the organization is to promote the study and research of the culture, politics, government, and society of the formative years of the United States.
To accomplish this mission, SHEAR holds an annual conference each summer to discuss new historical theories, share recent papers and articles, explore new ideas for the organization and its journal, and bring together historians with similar interests. The organization further disseminates information through its journal, The Journal of the Early Republic.
The Journal of the Early Republic began publication in 1981 as an outlet for the scholarly research of the early history of the United States. SHEAR had established itself as an organization and could now devote and further promote itself through a scholarly journal. In addition to serving as a promotional tool for the organization, the journal, published quarterly, filled a neglected gap in the publishing realm dealing with American history from the late eighteenth to early nineteenth centuries.
The organization has grown from its founding membership of approximately 500 individuals to more than 1,000 in 1995, the extent of the organization's history documented within this collection. Its leadership consists of a president and an advisory board elected by the membership.
This collection includes administrative and conference files which document, to a limited degree, the operations, communications, and annual conferences of SHEAR, as well as the publication of its The Journal of the Early Republic. In addition, this collections documents the operation of the Conference of Historical Journals, an organization closely associated with SHEAR with the mission to promote the publication of history in periodical form. The collection is arranged in two series: Series I. Administrative files and Series II. Conference files.
Series I. Administrative files contains the constitution and bylaws of the organization as well as correspondence from the members of the Advisory Council and the Editorial Office along with the membership lists and project proposals. The correspondence is largely from the editor of the journal, Ralphe E. Gray, and the bulk deals with the publication of the journal. However there is also a bit of correspondence among the members which discussed the future and direction the organization should undertake.
Among the administrative files is material relating to the Conference on Historical Journals, an organization open to any organization which considers itself historical in orientation. Members of SHEAR were heavily involved in that organization, its discussions, and information sharing on ways to efficiently produce a scholarly journal. Researchers will find this organization's constitution and by-laws, minutes, correspondence, and an incomplete run of its newsletter, Editing History.
Series II. Conference files contains programs of sessions, board and committee reports, articles, a few papers, and some related correspondence. Occasionally, minutes of the Advisory Board meetings are founds amongst the reports by the secretary/treasurer and the editor of The Journal of the Early Republic. These reports discuss the issues and solutions employed by SHEAR to maintain and further enhance its organization and are an ideal place for researchers to track and understand the development of the organization.
Gift of Society for Historians of the Early American Republic, 2019.
This collection was previously processed and housed at the Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis, Ruth Lilly Special Collections and Archives. The bulk of the arrangement and description was unchanged during processing for the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts.
- University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
- Finding Aid Author
- Holly Mengel
- Finding Aid Date
- 2019 October 31
- Access Restrictions
This collection is open for research use.
- Use Restrictions
Copyright restrictions may exist. For most library holdings, the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania do not hold copyright. It is the responsibility of the requester to seek permission from the holder of the copyright to reproduce material from the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts.