About the WHA
The Western History Association was founded in 1961 by a group of professional and avocational historians bound by their belief in the American West as a place rich in history and deserving of further study. "Its purpose shall be to promote the study of the North American West in its varied aspects and broadest sense," read the WHA's early constitution. Today, the office of the Western History Association is located in the History Department at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. The association is composed of more than 1,100 active members with a common mission. Learn more about the WHA Governance and Standing Committees, read the WHA Constitution & By Laws, or view the archive of the WHA Participation Index.
The WHA is an organization that encourages diverse representation in the historical profession and the field of western history. In 2011 the organization adopted a statement on diversity and updated it in 2017:
“The North American West has been both home to many different groups with divergent belief systems and cultural practices, and a place in which people often experience shifting identities. The Western History Association strives to reflect the richness of our regions. We seek to be an association of historians of diverse backgrounds who thrive in the spirit of mutual respect and engaged curiosity.”
"The Western History Association strives to be a congenial home for the study and teaching of all aspects of North American Wests, frontiers, homelands and borderlands. Our mission is to cultivate the broadest appreciation of this diverse history."
To accomplish this mission, we
- Enable collaborations among peoples, institutions and organizations, devoted to the study of western history.
- Conduct an annual meeting at which scholars and other professionals join students and laypeople to share their research, to exchange ideas, and to develop programs that facilitate further study of the north American west
- Publish a journal that employs rigorous peer reviews to identify, improve and distribute original scholarship
- And promote public education through active involvement with teachers, museums, libraries, and other venues”
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