Terra Cognita

Newsletter of the Society for the History of Discoveries

Page 2

May 2004

From the Secretary-Treasurer
(aka Editor, Terra Cognita)

Three new members of Council have been elected to two-year terms beginning this September. Karen Cook (2004), Donald McGuirk (2004), and John Docktor (2004) rotate off Council this year, and they will be replaced by Ed Dahl (2006), James Enterline (2006), and Katherine Goodwin (2006). We welcome our new Council Members, and they will assume office at the completion of our meeting in Wyoming. As always, SHD is grateful to all of you who agree to stand for office. We could not survive without good people volunteering to take on important jobs. 

Ralph Ehrenberg, Vice President and Program Chairman, learned at the Council Meeting in New Orleans that Enkhuizen, in The Netherlands, although alluring, would not be a feasible venue in 2004 because of unusual costs. So, faced with the task of finding another meeting place for this year’s meeting, he met the challenge head-on and within an hour, reported back to Council that the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, Wyoming would be happy to host our meeting in 2004. Council heartily approved the change, and it is likely that Cody will prove to be one of the most memorable meetings we have ever held. You can read about what is planned for Cody on our web site. Also, by now you have received the call for papers from Ehrenberg. In addition to concurrent paper sessions, special plenary sessions with invited speakers will be featured. John Logan Allen has organized both a pre-conference and post-conference field trip, so now is your opportunity to visit Yellowstone Park.

President Richard Francaviglia has named the Honors Committee for 2004. Carol Urness is chairman, and she is joined by Robert Highbarger and Alice Hudson. It is my belief that SHD has many worthy members who deserve to be honored for their accomplishments by their peers, and as the past two meetings have proved, the bestowing of honors was one of the high points of the
conferences. 
We have made progress during the past two years on updating the index for Terrae Incognitae. A professional in-depth index for volumes 1-12, prepared by Michael Kalen Smith, appeared in volume 13 (1981) of TI, and the society is now preparing to publish volume 36. Clearly, there is too much wonderful scholarship in our journal that is inaccessible because we lack an up-to-date index. We are resolving the problem, however. Thanks to Alistair Maeer, the index for vols. 1-12 has been copied onto a digital master file, which is now posted on our web site. Janette Irving, who resides in Atlanta and has degrees in geography from Georgia State University, has been hired to systematically index volumes 13 to 35, and as each issue is completed, she will merge her work with the master file. This is an unusually large task, and individual members will be asked during the next year for help in identifying key words in various articles for final indexing. I have already solicited several authors for help, and their responses have been heartening. Partial funding for this project was approved by Council several years ago, but the first disbursement for index-related expenses occurred in January 2004. Stay tuned.

Mark your calendars! The SHD meeting in 2005 will take place on October 7-9 in Williamsburg, VA. Richard Pflederer will be the local arrangements chairman for the conference.

Tom Sander continues to maintain our website at a very high level, and I hope all of the readers of this newsletter have taken the opportunity to log-on to the annual meetings page. Tom has added many photographs snapped at the New Orleans meeting. They, along with the pictures taken at the conferences in Washington, Denver, and Zapopan provide a magnificent archive for our members.

I am well into my fourth year as Secretary-Treasurer, and the only onerous aspect of the job is collecting annual dues. As of April 10, 2004, barely 91 percent of the membership has paid their dues. Sending out multiple,
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