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Minutes of the business meeting

Minutes of the meeting of the board of Porta Historica, London, 3 December 2008, by eef Dijkhof with assistance of Emilly Morrell

Porta Historica Business Meeting 2008

Institute of Historical Research London, 3 December 2008, 11.00 am

Present: Gaëlle Béquet (ENC, Paris), Thérèse de Hemptinne (CRH/KCG), Eef Dijkhof (ING), Jean-Marie Duvosquel (CRH/KCG), Donald Haks (ING, chair), Ineke Huysman (ING), Emily Morrell (IHR), Andrea Rzihacek (IMAF), Karel Velle (CRH/KCG), Jane Winters (IHR), Bernhard Zeller (IMF)

1. Welcome

The meeting was opened and the participants welcomed.

2. Announcements

2.1        The next meeting of Porta Historica would take place in April 2009 in Brussels. The following meeting would be held in Paris in 2010, possibly earlier than December.

2.2        In September 2008, Donald Haks had given a presentation at the meeting of the European Association of National Bibliographies in Berlin. Fifteen national bibliographies were represented. Common objectives of Porta Historica and the Association were discussed, and the Association expressed an interest in having a presence on the Porta Historica website.

The biannual meeting of editors of diplomatic sources, from 25 countries, was to be held in 2009 in the Hague. That organisation had also asked Porta Historica if they could host their website.

The meeting felt that offering to host websites, or pages on the Porta Historica website, for these organisations would blur the core business of Porta Historica. It was necessary to decide carefully which institutions to work with, as was decided in Vienna in 2007. It seemed the meeting quite risky to let use our website by already existing groups of institutions. It was agreed that Porta Historica would be happy to carry news announcements from such organisations, and to link to their websites, but not to host their webpages.

3.         Report of the last meeting in Vienna

The report was accepted with one correction and would be placed on the Porta Historica website. Thanks were expressed to Donald Haks and Eef Dijkhof for their work.

4.         New member(s) of the Board

Andrea Rzihacek had taken over from Helmut Reimitz as the Board representative from the Institut für Mittelalterforschung. Bernhard Zeller was presented as the new second contact person of that institute.

5.         The Charter

5.1        In 2010 the charter was to be evaluated and changed if necessary.

5.2        It was questioned whether English would continue to be the common language of the network as it was felt that this might discourage colleagues from other countries to join the Network. It was suggested that presentations could perhaps be given in the participant’s mother tongue. It was agreed that this point would be reconsidered in future but that for the present English would remain the common language.

6.         Website and website committee

6.1        Eef Dijkhof expressed his thanks to the members of the website committee for their valuable comments on an earlier version of the website.

6.2        The new website had been launched in summer 2008 with the help of the ING’s ICT department. Eef Dijkhof introduced the site and asked participants to send further information about and logos of their institutes for inclusion on the site. The presentations from the London meeting could also be added to the site. All the speakers were invited to send their contribution to Dijkhof. He also would circulate log in details for the members’ area of the site. He encouraged participants to use the forum that would be renewed. Interest was expressed in having an RSS feed to notify users when a new message was placed on the forum, and Dijkhof agreed to investigate this.

7.         Annual Meeting committee

7.1        Emily Morrell would not be participating in the next meeting of Porta Historica as her job had changed. Jane Winters would therefore take over as the committee member representing the institute which had just hosted the meeting. Karel Velle would be the member representing the CRH/KCG which would next host a meeting.

8.         Programme of the 2009 annual meeting, Brussels

8.1        The meeting would be part of a larger conference to celebrate the 175th anniversary of the CRH/KCG. On 29 April Porta Historica delegates would be part of this event, with the normal Porta Historica meeting taking place on 30 April. Subjects for discussion would again be quality criteria, reviews of digital resources. A third subject would be about ideas of building on the Porta Historica website a virtual bookshelf containing the digital source editions of our institutions. While the time of preparation would be very short, a second business meeting of Porta Historica, if necessary, would be held at the end of 2009.

10.        How is our Network functioning?

10.1      The first period of the network (2006-2010) was now half way through. Fruitful discussions had been had.

10.2      Andrea Rzihacek suggested as a first concrete point of action that a new section could be established on the website to host reviews of digital resources.

10.3      Jane Winters reiterated that the IHR’s Reviews in History was happy to take the lead on this project, and that they would like to include European members in the editorial board. A committee to work on the reviews project was established with Jane Winters and Andrea Rzihacek as the members. Other participants were asked to suggest candidates for the editorial board.

10.4      It was agreed that further thought should be given to establishing a joint project which might attract European funding. A business/strategic plan should also be drawn up in the near future.

11.        Any other business

11.1      Jane Winters and Emily Morrell were thanked for their organisation and hosting of the 2008 meeting.

12.        Close of the business meeting

The Hague, 10 April 2009,

Eef Dijkhof with assistance of Emily Morrell