History of the JAH

In October 1907, seven of the leading historical societies of the Mississippi Valley were invited to Lincoln, Nebraska, “for the purpose of considering plans for effecting a permanent organization for the advancement of historical research and the collection and conservation of material in these western States.” The result was the formation of the Mississippi Valley Historical Association. Seven years later, the Association launched the first issue of its quarterly Mississippi Valley Historical Review to showcase the publishing activities of the association.

The March 1964 issue completed the fiftieth volume of the Mississippi Valley Historical Review, and at that time the association celebrated the half-century landmark anniversary by approving a name change of the association’s journal to the Journal of American History. The change in title not only reflected an awareness of a growing national membership in the association but recognized a decided shift in contributor emphasis from regional to nationally oriented history.

The Journal of American History remains the leading scholarly publication and journal of record in the field of American history and is well known as the major resource for the study, investigation, and teaching of our country’s heritage. Published quarterly in March, June, September, and December, the Journal continues its distinguished career by publishing prize-winning and widely reprinted original articles on American history. The Journal also features historiographic essays and reviews of books, films, exhibitions, and websites. Its ongoing initiative in internationalization places American history in a global context, and its new “Teaching the JAH” web project brings the latest scholarly research into the U.S. history classroom. The Journal’s Recent Scholarship bibliography is now available to Organization of American History members as an online searchable database.