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1997 Meeting

Minutes of ACH Executive Council Meeting

Kingston, Ontario, June 2, 1997

Present: Neuman, McCarty, Bush, Mylonas, Ide, Unsworth, Lavagnino, Sperberg-McQueen, Renear, Chesnutt, Chisolm, Price-Wilkin

President's Report.

Michael Neuman reported the following highlights and kudos (in no particular order) for ACH from preceding year:

Treasurer's Report.

Chuck Bush reported the following key points:

MLA Report

John Lavagnino reported on the successful ACH-sponsored sessions that he organized for the 1997 conference in Washington, DC. His list of MLA '96 conference sessions of interest to computing humanists was widely used and much appreciated. For the 1998 conference, two sessions have been proposed: one (by John) on Computers and Theory, and the other (by Michael Sperberg-McQueen) on Spatial Text. Details will be forthcoming on the ACH web page. John will continue to organize the ACH MLA sessions.

Web Report

Elli Mylonas reported on ACH web activity of the past year, and she reminded us of the password (available upon request) needed for accessing the section reserved for Council activities. Recommendations included adding the archives for ACH-EC-L and ACH-L as well as linking to selected public policy sites and other selected humanities sites in the manner of the Argos Limited Area Search of the Ancient and Medieval Internet.

Humanist Report

Willard McCarty reported that the listserv and the web site still reside at Princeton University but that CETH has been removed from the masthead since the departure of Susan Hockey to Alberta. An index to search the archives is planned, and David Gants will serve as Assistant Editor. John Unsworth will work with Willard to set up an Advisory Board. It was proposed that a "house editor" be named to answer questions about policies and procedures, and that John Dawson be invited to lead the development of a Humanist "technology corner" at the intersection of computing and the humanities, but John's proposal for a separate ACH-sponsored list was rejected.

CHUM Report

Nancy Ide reported that numbers 5 and 6 from volume 30 were complete. Forthcoming special issues will include Selected Papers from the 1997 conference (due March 1998), and other issues will focus on Digital Libraries, Electronic Publishing, Euro WordNet, and Standards for Linguistic Data. The lower acceptance rate portends higher quality issues, project descriptions are invited as a new category of submission, and a new cover for the journal is planned. Twelve commissioning editors were recruited. The latest contract with Kluwer calls for ACH to review CHUM once a year, and David Chesnutt agreed to coordinate that review between June 15th and October 1st.

TEI Report

Michael Sperberg-McQueen reported that the TEI Guidelines are out of print and that a new printing was imminent though additional corrections need to be made. He reported on XML, the summer training classes in the TEI to be offered at CETH, and the fact that one more year of funding from NEH will be forthcoming after August 1997 as $20000 in matching funds is sought.

Conference Proposal

John Unsworth presented a proposal on behalf of David Seaman, John Alexander and himself that UVA's IATH, Etext Center, and Teaching-Technology Initiative host ACH- ALLC99 in Charlottesville. He proposed June 2-5 as dates, recommended a three-part program to broaden appeal to research librarians and humanists from related disciplines, and said the hosts will seek funding sources (including subvention of memberships for graduate students). The proposal was unanimously accepted, and David Seaman later received a copy of the ACH-ALLC joint conference protocols and met with previous Local Organizers for an exchange of hints.


David Barnard, unable to attend, had reported that his suggestions for revising the ACH Constitution could be expected by November 1st if he was allowed to continue working on this task. This was accepted.

CHWP Proposal

Willard McCarty led a discussion of the Computing in the Humanities Working Papers as a joint ACH-ALLC electronic publication of pre-prints, project reports, etc. It was recommended that CHWP provide a mechanism for feedback from readers to authors. The primary point of discussion was the extent to which peer review should be employed: how can CHWP remain selective without discouraging a broad range of submissions? The Council endorsed the proposal in principle and encouraged resubmission after Willard can consult with his co-editors on the issues of feedback and peer review. The proposal for joint auspices was also presented to the ALLC Executive Committee.


Laszlo Hunyadi reported that next year's conference will be held at Lajos Kossuth University in Debrecen (200 km from Budapest) from July 5-10, 1998. Shared rooms will be available on campus and accommodations in several hotels will be reserved. Registration is anticipated to be $150 (US) and a luncheon plan will cost $40. The URL will be linked to the ACH web page, and a copy of the VRML tour of the host university will be sent to the president to assist with publicity.

Roberto Busa Award

Michael Sperberg-McQueen co-ordinated the development of a joint plan with ALLC to fund the award. Nancy Ide and Willard McCarty will represent ACH on the five- member committee that determines the first recipient at ALLC-ACH98. The award will be given every three years, so ACH will host the award in 2001, by which time at least $5000 will need to have been raised to support the stipend and travel expenses for that year's award. Council members are encouraged to take the lead in making donations and in finding donors.

Nominating Committee

Leslie Zarker Morgan agreed to chair the Committee, which will consist of Lavagnino and others to be picked later. This year is a presidential and vice-presidential election year.

Program Committee

According to ACH Guidelines, when ALLC hosts the joint conference, the ACH membership on the Program Committee will consist of one member of the Executive Council, one continuing member of the Program Committee, one new member serving a two-year term, and one new member serving a one-year term. For ALLC-ACH98 our representatives (all of whom have agreed to serve) consist of: Executive Council – John Unsworth Continuing Member – Robin Cover New Member – Julia Flanders New Member – Jim Coleman

Conference Protocol

Mike Neuman reported that he would raise the issue of item #13 (publication of proceedings) with the ALLC leadership to determine whether the plan for publishing this year's selected papers via our official journal might be acceptable for our sister organization. The outcome — not necessary for the minutes, and indeed not yet settled — is that ALLC must first complete the succession of its editorship for LLC before it can determine whether OUP can continue the pattern.


Mike Neuman reported that ACH had joined the constellation of organizations in support of the National Initiative for a Networked Cultural Heritage and that the 1997 conference session reserved for the ACH President would feature a presentation by David Green, Executive Director of NINCH, followed by a response from a member of the Executive Committee (Allen Renear substituting for John Unsworth) and by a discussion of ways in which the two organizations could work together for their mutual advantage.

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