What is the AHS History Index? The Atheist, Humanist, and Skeptic History Index is a project to make the information contained in the publications of these movements easily discoverable by historians and anyone else with an interest in the history of these movements. Several organizations have done a good job of collecting this information and making it accessible to people who ask to see it, but it's difficult to ask for things you don't know exist. This project aims to fix that problem.
Our initial focus is on U.S. movement materials. To start, this project will:
- Survey digitized periodicals to identify people of interest (subjects, writers, publishing staff), locations of events, court cases and legislation, movement-sponsored events, and subject matter at the article level. Ads will also be analyzed.
- Use this information to build an index of this information on a wiki platform. Lists and cross-links will be employed in order to aid discovery. Access to editing this index will be limited to enable quality control.
- Highlight the occasional article of interest to get people engaged with the material.
- Collect and provide information on the location of the resources indexed and who to contact for access.
On an ongoing basis, we will work with organizations to determine what materials they have archived that should be included in the index and to find funding and other resources to make digitization possible where it is still necessary and desirable. We will also incorporate other movement materials (conference talks, books, etc.) as this can be accomplished without compromising the core mission of the index.
History is always in danger of being forgotten. The history of these movements are too critical to allow that to happen to us. Whether our interests lie in not repeating parts of our history or in seeing it broadcast far and wide, making that history easier to find will only aid us in that goal.