Region 8 History Activities Operations Manual (Draft)
Charter − R8M-6.1.16
To stimulate in the Region’s subunits the awareness and importance of history, the proper documentation of their history, and the organization of history-related activities.
The Region 8 History Activities Coordinator is appointed by the Region Director and serves as HA Committee Chair. The Committee may be formed only by corresponding members. Members are appointed by the Vice Chair − Member Activities from recommendations by the Region 8 OpCom as well as recommendations by the Region 8 N&A Committee.
Statement of authority
- Document the Region’s history and make the documentation publicly available on the Region’s website and through the Engineering and Technology History Wiki.
- Support the Region’s subunits in properly documenting their history.
- Support the Region’s subunits in their history-related activities − such as (but not limited to) preparation of IEEE Milestones, arranging of Oral Histories, and organization of history-related meetings and conferences − and assist in establishing necessary contacts with relevant IEEE organizational units.
- Maintain a strong relation with the IEEE History Committee and the IEEE History Center.
The History Activities Coordinator reports through the Region 8 Vice Chair − Member Activities and submits a report to the Region 8 Committee prior to its meetings. Current and previous reports are and remain available on the History Activities webpage.
The Coordinator maintains two webpages: (i) the History Activities webpage with news about recent, current and upcoming history-related events that may be of interest to Region 8 and (ii) the History webpage, which pages are updated on a regular basis. Both pages have internal and external links to many documents. Note that updating the content of these pages − in particular the History webpage − is often restricted to updating the documents at the back end, so that the pages may seem rather static but the information that they provide is not!.
Since the History Activities Committee has only corresponding members, meetings of the committee are generally held via teleconference.
Document the history of Region 8
Documenting the history of Region 8 is based on the book ‘A short history of IRE Region 9 / IEEE Region 8’, which is available on the Engineering and Technology History Wiki (ETHW) and which is constantly updated. A short guide through the book is available on the Region 8 History webpage. This page offers also many lists and tables from the history book in the form of links to spreadsheets; the spreadsheets are updated throughout the year when changes and additions are required.
To update the book and the spreadsheets, the Coordinator uses several resources and remains in contact with several IEEE Organizational Units, such as:
- OU Analytics (History officers, Membership statistics)
- MGA (Geographic Unit statistics)
- ETHW (Milestones, Oral Histories, Section histories, …)
- Region 8 News (anything that may be interesting for the Region’s history)
- History Center (Milestones and Oral Histories)
- History Committee meetings (Milestones and any history items that may be interesting for the Region)
- Board of Directors meetings (Medals, Awards, and Milestone approvals)
- MGA Board meetings (Awards, new Sections and Subsections)
- Region 8 Committee meetings (Awards, new Sections and Subsections, approval of Region 8 conferences, …)
Note that it is extremely rare that somebody takes the initiative to inform the Coordinator about relevant history items; the initiative should thus come from the Coordinator’s side.
Support the Region’s subunits in documenting their history
The Engineering and Technology History Wiki (ETHW) is a wiki-based platform that allows IEEE members and Organizational Units to collaboratively preserve and share their history (including, for instance, the history of individual IEEE Sections). ETHW hosts the Milestones, Oral Histories, and Archives programs, and also allows IEEE members to contribute to Wikipedia-style topic articles or to preserve their own First-Hand Histories.
Sections and Subsections are urged to document their history on the appropriate space in ETHW: click on the Section’s or Subsection’s link in this spreadsheet). The Region 8 history book and the History webpage may serve as a source of information and inspiration on what to document. The Coordinator will be happy to assist Sections and Subsections in this important task and to help them in the process of realizing Milestones and Special Citations, Oral Histories, and First-Hand Histories.
Milestones and Special Citations
The IEEE Milestones program honors significant technical achievements in all areas associated with IEEE. It is a program of the IEEE History Committee, administered through the IEEE History Center. Milestones recognize the technological innovation and excellence for the benefit of humanity found in unique products, services, seminal papers and patents. Milestones are proposed by any IEEE member, and are sponsored by an IEEE Organizational Unit, such as an IEEE Section, Society, Chapter or Student Branch. After recommendation by the IEEE History Committee and approval by the IEEE Board of Directors, a bronze plaque commemorating the achievement is placed at an appropriate site with an accompanying dedication ceremony.
The IEEE History Committee also administers a Special Citation program to recognize events or institutions which − although not being technical achievements as defined by the Milestone Program − have contributed to the profession. Examples might be: museums or archives with substantial holdings pertaining to the history of electrical engineering and computing, the holding of a seminal conference, or the formation of a technical society.
Sections are urged to propose Milestones for significant achievements that took place in their Section as well as Special Citations to recognize events or institutions that have contributed significantly to the profession. If necessary, a list of achievements suitable for Milestones is available, but we need volunteers – maybe a group of Life Members? – to work out a proposal. The Coordinator is always available for advice.
The Coordinator closely follows the Milestone and Special Citation approval process as it goes through the IEEE History Committee by staying in contact with the IEEE History Center, by attending (via teleconference) the History Committee meetings and by closely monitoring the Milestones Status Report on ETHW, and reports about it in the History Activities webpage. Note that the Coordinator is the official liaison of Region 8 to the History Committee.
Started in Paris in 2008, HISTELCON (HISTory of ELectrotechnology CONference) is a flagship conference of Region 8 held every two years on the history of electrical engineering, electronics, computing, their applications, and their impact on humanity’s social development. Sections willing to organize a future HISTELCON can express their desire to the Conference Coordination Committee; please keep the History Activities Coordinator in the loop.
The Coordinator participates in the Regional training on the request of Region 8 OpCom.
As is mentioned on the History Activities webpage, the History Activities Committee can be contacted via the email alias [email protected].