H-Net celebrates (quietly) 15th anniversary

H-Net went on-line for the first time fifteen years ago today, on February 25, 1993. That was the day that H-Urban, the first H-Net list, sent out its first message -- the program of the Society for American City and Regional Planning History -- which I typed out by hand. H-Net (then, History on Line) was conceived by Richard Jensen, Kelly Richter (a graduate student), and I at University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) in the fall of 1992. Jensen was renowned for his work with computers in quantitative history, having trained whole groups at the Newberry Library in Chicago with Jan Reiff. Richter was interested in a new telecommunications technology known as"bulletin boards," and he and Jensen had begun talking about using that technology to create a professional on-line forum on history. Also a graduate student, I had been working with Jensen on an independent study on the use of electronic texts in the history profession [later published in Vernon Burton, ed., COMPUTING IN THE SOCIAL SCIENCES AND HUMANITIES (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2002)]. Jensen asked if I was interested in participating in this new project, and I said yes....

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