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Minutes of the board meeting

Minutes of the meeting of the board of Porta Historica, Amsterdam, 22 November 2012, by Jan Burgers

Porta Historica (PH) 2012 Board Meeting

Huygens ING, at the ESTS conference in Amsterdam, 22 November 2012.


Present: Jan Burgers (Huygens ING), Eef Dijkhof (Huygens ING), Gustaaf Janssens (KCG/CRH), Andrea Rzihacek (IMF), Guy Vanthemsche (KCG/CRH), Jane Winters (IRH).



1. Welcome

The meeting is opened by the Chair, Andrea Rzihacek.


2. Announcements

The participants give an overview of the recent changes in their institutes. Some were expanded (Vienna), have merged with another institute (The Hague), or were temporarily relocated (London). All stay committed to PH.


3. Minutes of the meeting in Paris 2010

The minutes are endorsed.


4. The future of Porta Historica

On the basis of the memorandum by Eef Dijkhof about the future of PH, a discussion unfolds. Everybody agrees that PH must expand with new members in order to be viable. Some board member express their concern that allowing individual membership will destabilize the structure of our network. At the end however, all agree that there is really no other option than allowing private scholars to become a member; the other possibility, inviting only institutions to join, has proven not to work.


PH will be transformed into a network in which scholarly institutions, academic groups, archives and individuals can participate, from all (European) countries, provided that they are somehow involved in or interested in editing historical documents, of all time periods. The board as it is constituted at the moment will expand with circa five new members, which will be chosen from the new participants of PH; the procedure of the election will be decided upon at the next board meeting. For the time being, Huygens ING will keep hosting the website, and Eef Dijkhof will remain in function as a secretary of the board. On the website, a possibility will be created that visitors can subscribe as a member of PH; the secretary will arrange their admission. Furthermore, all board members should recruit actively under their colleagues within and outside their home institutions.


It is necessary that the website is made more attractive, because that is the most important way to bring in new members from outside our own circle. As a first step, it is agreed upon to do a serious effort to start the project of a "Bibliotheca Portae Historicae. A Virtual Bookshelf of Digital Source Editions", that was already discussed at the annual meeting of PH in Paris in 2010, and further developed in the proposal of Andreas Zajic (IMAF). Therefore it is decided that each board member will deliver, before 21 May 2013, a national overview with short commentaries of the most important digital editions of historical sources. 'Digital Editions' should become a separate page on the website, with options to browse its content. Another item should be a 'Directory of historical editors', through which medium the professionals can learn of each other's activities.


5. Position of the École nationale des chartes

The ENC could not attend to the present board meeting. It is agreed upon that the secretary and one of the members from KCG/CRH will arrange a meeting with ENC, to see what are its present feelings about its participation in PH.


6. Next Business Meeting

The next meeting of the board will be in the Fall of 2013, possibly in Vienna.


November 2012, Jan Burgers.