The Historian to depart from OWU

By Kiersten Bender, Transcript Correspondent 

The editorial staff of The Historian are slowly clearing the shelves, editing one book at a time, in preparation to terminate a historical organization that has operated at Ohio Wesleyan University for 25 years. 

The Historian will be leaving OWU in the fall of 2018, ending 25 years of connecting students with universities, historians, and authors from all over the country. Richard Spall Jr., professor of history, has been the editor of the book review section of The Historian since it arrived at Ohio Wesleyan in 1993.

The Historian is a quarterly journal published by the national honor society for history, Phi Alpha Theta.

Phi Alpha Theta encourages the research, publication and teaching of history, which is why the journal includes articles and book reviews that discuss all fields of history.

The journal allows students, historians and teachers from around the world to make connections, according to The Historian’s website.

The contract with Phi Alpha Theta connecting OWU and The Historian included a six-year term with Spall as editor. Ending his fourth term, Spall is ready to pass the torch to someone else and continue teaching.

The journal was initially intended to leave in the fall of 2017.

But when the person who was intended to replace Spall as editor declined, the OWU staff had to keep the book review section operating for another year. Meanwhile, Phi Alpha Theta has been searching for a different editor willing to take on the responsibility.

Since its establishment in 1993, The Historian has provided Ohio Wesleyan students with $475,000 in scholarships and more than $1.3 million in books. In addition, 32,654 history books have been added to Beeghly Library.

“The history collection is as good or better than any other,” Spall said.

Along with the extensive list of contributions, The Historian has provided jobs to OWU students through work study opportunities provided by the school.

The OWU editorial staff currently includes six editorial assistants and four senior editorial assistants. Spall said the book review section has had up to 21 students working for it at one time.

Both junior Alyssa DiPadova and senior Kyle Rabung said their experiences as senior editorial assistants have provided them with skills and relationships that they would not have received anywhere else.

“I cannot stress enough how proud this campus should be over the 20 plus years of excellence that we have contributed to a nationally circulating academic journal,” Rabung said.


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