The Organization of American Historians promotes open access to historical resources and scholarship, the exhibition and preservation of artifacts, the discussion of historical questions, and the dissemination of knowledge. We ardently support the respectful and equitable treatment of all practitioners of history.
Along with alerts and updates to members, the OAH actively participates in the National Humanities Alliance, the National Coalition for History, and the History Relevance Initiative.
National Humanities Alliance
Since 1981, the National National Humanities Alliance (NHA) has advanced the cause of the humanities by promoting the common interests of its members with regard to national policy, programs, and legislation that affect the National Endowment for the Humanities and other agencies related to the humanities. Stephen Kidd is the Executive Director of the NHA.
National Coalition for History
The National Coalition for History (NCH) is a non-profit educational organization which offers leadership in history-related advocacy and provides news and information from Washington. The NCH "advocates on federal legislative and regulatory issues affecting historians, archivists, teachers, researchers, and other stakeholders." The Coalition encourages organizations to join. Lee White is the Executive Director of the NCH.
In light of ongoing controversies, it is critical that the history community be able to clearly explain what history is, how we come to understand the past, and why it matters to society. Reframing History provides a new set of evidence-backed recommendations for improving how we talk about history.
Led by the American Association for State and Local History, the project was funded by the Mellon Foundation and carried out with the FrameWorks Institute, the National Council on Public History, and the OAH. The Reframing History report and tools are the result of a two-year research effort to understand how Americans think about history and how our field can more effectively explain history’s value. The recommendations from this project are designed to help historians, educators, museum professionals, and history advocates to be able to more cohesively and convincingly communicate about history to build a wider understanding of what inclusive history looks like and why it is important for all of us.
Despite the best efforts of the field, much of the public still assumes making sense of the past is about finding a single objective truth, about documenting “just the facts.” To more effectively explain why history matters, we must shift the conversation about history to emphasize critical engagement with the past and the incorporation of new evidence and diverse perspectives. Reframing History provides specific, flexible strategies for achieving that shift, overcoming major communication challenges, and building a more widely shared understanding of the importance of learning from the past. The resources developed in response to the research include the report, a tool kit, supplements to the tool kit, and a podcast.
History Relevance Initiative
The History Relevance (HR) Initiative promotes a shared language and other tools and strategies to mobilize history organizations in the United States around the relevance and value of history. HR supports history organizations that encourage the public to use historical thinking skills to actively engage with and address contemporary issues and to value history for its relevance to modern life.