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Minutes of the board meeting Paris 2010

Minutes of the meeting of the board of Porta Historica, Paris, 17 September 2010, by Eef Dijkhof

Ecole Nationale des Chartes (ECN) [National School of Palaeography and Archival Studies], Paris, 17 September 2010

Present: Gaëlle Béquet (ENC), Jonathan Blaney (IHR), Olivier Canteaut (ENC), Eef Dijkhof (ING), Jean-Marie Duvosquel (KCG/CRH), Thérèse De Hemptinne (KCG/CRH), Andrea Rzihacek (IMF), Peter Sigmond (ING, Chair), Guy Vanthemsche (KCG/CRH), and Jane Winters (IRH).



1. Welcome

The meeting was opened and the participants welcomed by the Chair, Peter Sigmond.

2. Announcements

On invitation of Peter Sigmond the participants gave a short overview of recent and coming activities of their institutes.

3. Minutes on the meeting in Brussels 2009

With thanks to the authors, Sebastiaan Derks with some assistance of Donald Haks, the report was endorsed.


4. Website and website committee

The website committee was made up of Jane Winters and Eef Dijkhof. Unfortunately there wasn’t made much progress this year.

The members discussed whether the forum function on the website should be public or not. Public forum would be an excellent way to make the world aware of what we are doing. On the other hand, the delegates concluded that the forum function was not used up to now. It was decided to keep the forum not public for the time being.

Further, it was agreed that the institutes will get the opportunity to put news items directly on the Porta Historica website.

5. Common project I : Quality criteria for digital source editions

The quality criteria set in London have now been translated into French, German and, Spanish. The translations will soon be placed on the website.

The agreements regarding the dissemination and publishing of the quality criteria were not all fulfilled.

The following still have to been done:

- the use of own channels by every member of Porta Historica, such as for information purposes for historical journals in order to stimulate the reviewing of (digital) source editions;

- mentions in Porta Historica documentation, such as a brochure.

6. Common project II: Reviews on the Porta Historica Website

In the last meeting in Brussels a proposal of Andrea Rzihacek and Jane Winters was approved to publish reviews of both printed and digital source editions on our website.

Since our last meeting a little progress had been made on this point. The participants decided to add once more impetus to the review section.

- the Institute of Historical Research will as soon as possible take on the job of expanding reviews and maintaining contacts with reviewers. Jane Winters will send a list of reviews that might be suitable for the Porta Historica website. Reviews by staff of the institutes will be most welcome.

Coordination will stay in the hands of Andrea Rzihacek and Jane Winters.



7. Common project III: Bibliotheca Portae Historicae: A virtual bookshelf of digital source editions

Eef Dijkhof made a small survey on portals of European historical sources. The meeting discussed the quality of one of them (European History Primary Sources (EHPS) ). The meeting stated that this site has many disadvantages:

-it gives links to websites containing editions of very different, sometimes quite poor quality;

-it gives no information on the type of edition of the historical sources; whether it is digital born edition or a digitized printed edition;

-in the latter case it gives no information about the way the edition was digitized.

The participants concluded that it would be still very useful for researchers if Porta Historica were to draw up a list of printed, digitised source editions that provide among others information on quality and method of digitization, and were to offer access to these.

The committee that was set up during the meeting in Brussels in 2009 will make a newe effort to develop a proposal for the next annual meeting in 2011 of a modest virtual bookshelf of digital source editions. This committee will be made up of the IHR and ING.


8. What next for Porta Historica? On search for new members

Eef Dijkhof made a survey on potential new members. He sends the delegates a provisional list of such institutions. The meeting stated once more that it would be of advantage for Porta Historica to expand.

Nevertheless, the meeting concluded that immediate expansion of Porta Historica through the inclusion of new members in 2011 might make the network unstable. It was decided to proceed in two ways. The members will use their personal networks to make contact with potential new members. The members should exchange a list of candidates. The next meeting (in The Hague; see 10) will be combined with a congress on methodological and technical aspects. On that congress will be invited institutes that might become new members.

In the mean time the expansion have to be prepared. Some of the regulations have to been changed, especially those regarding the board and the election of the board, and further the finances of the Network need to be regulated. The ING will do some proposals in 2011.


9. Election of the Board, chair of the Board and the Academic Secretary

The ING offered to fulfil the secretariat in the person of Eef Dijkhof in 2011 as well. The members agreed to this proposal. Decided was that also in 2011 the board will consist of one person from every institute. Members of the board till the business meeting in 2011 will be Gaëlle Béquet (ENC), Andrea Rzihacek (IMF), Peter Sigmond (ING) till the end of 2010, Guy Vanthemsche (KCG/CRH), and Jane Winters (IRH). The board chose Andrea Rzihacek as Chair.


10. Next Business Meeting

The ING offered to organize the next meeting in The Hague. It will be held in either November or December 2011. The delegates of the ING expect that in the next annual meeting the ING had merged with the Huygens Institute. On occasion of this merge there are plans to organise a congress on methodological and technical aspects of editing historical and literary sources. The other members would be pleased to participate in this congress.


11. Annual committee meeting

The committee for preparing the annual meeting in The Hague in 2011 consists of Eef Dijkhof.


12. Other business

Ecole Nationale des Chartes was thanked for their excellent organisation of the meeting and the warm welcome in Paris.


13. Close of the business meeting

December 2011


Eef Dijkhof