A deep love of history has inspired ANU students to breathe life back into the forsaken ANU Historical Journal (ANUHJ).

A small collective of ANU history students driven by their passion for the field have revitalised the student-led journal, which ceased publishing in the late 1980s.

A group of ANU School of History students founded the ANUHJ in 1964 and successfully operated the journal for 23 years. Collated entirely by students, it functioned as a platform for undergraduates, graduates, alumni and academics alike to have their work exhibited.

The ANUHJ is one of few Australian academic history journals that both publish undergraduate research and feature undergraduate students on the editorial team.

Ultimately, the original journal shut down in 1987 due to a lack of funding. Now, three decades later, the ANUHJ has become a vibrant new publication that pays homage to its predecessor and those involved in its original form.

Current history students Jessica Urwin, Emily Gallagher and Madalyn Grant, are the powerhouse team behind the latest iteration. The trio began the restoration of the journal in early 2017, a testament to their passion for the field and respect for student voices.

“I think, at least for me, the ANUHJ II was a symptom of my own love for History,” editor Emily Gallagher said. “I was feeling inspired in the early months of my PhD and looking for some way to share that with the people around me. The journal presented itself at just the right moment.”

The immense amount of time and effort Gallagher, Urwin and Grant have invested in this project has finally come to fruition. The first issue of the new ANUHJ, now branded as ANUHJ II, was launched in the warm glow of Harry Hartog on Thursday night. Its reincarnation promises to once again provide young scholars with opportunities to further their passion for the field and see their work recognised alongside that of renowned academics.

“In the 1960s and 70s, the ANUHJ helped to demystify the practice of history and foster a strong sense of collegiality among history students and staff,” Gallagher said. “We hope that the second iteration of the ANUHJ will do much the same: enriching the study of History at the ANU by empowering students to publish their research and providing opportunities for young historians to gain editing and publishing experience.”

ANUHJ II was launched, fittingly, by ANU Professor Nicholas Brown and Emeritus Professor Iain McClaman. Professor Brown has been part of the ANU School of History throughout the lifetimes of both iterations, while Professor McClaman was one of the editors of the original ANUHJ.

The work of students and academics alike filled the first issue, and the editors are already calling for submissions for the next instalment.

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