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H-URBAN is an international electronic discussion network. H-URBAN was established in February 1993 at the University of Illinois at Chicago UIC to provide a forum for scholars of urban history and urban studies. It was the first forum created by H-NET (Humanities and Social Sciences OnLine), an international scholarly network that is supported in part by Michigan State University and private donations.

The primary purpose of H-URBAN is to enable historians and others interested in urban history and urban studies to communicate current research and research interests easily; to query and discuss new approaches, sources, methods and tools of analysis; and to comment on contemporary historiography. To accomplish these goals, H-URBAN informs historians of announcements, calls for papers and conferences, awards, fellowships, reviews of books and websites, availability of new sources and archives, as well as reports on new research and teaching tools, which may include books, articles, works-in-progress, research reports, primary historical documents (e.g. model ordinances, federal/state/local reports, addresses of city officials), syllabi, bibliographies, software, datasets and multimedia publications or projects.

H-URBAN exists through the dedicated efforts of numerous volunteers who are broadly representative of the state of scholarship in urban history and urban studies. H-URBAN's Advisory Board and Editorial Staff enable H-URBAN to provide extensive and useful resources to the field of urban history and urban studies that strive to meet the highest standards of scholarship and professionalism.

Those who wish to join in this effort are encouraged to contact H-URBAN at for more information.


Subscribers and Subscriptions
H-URBAN is a moderated international discussion list whose daily mailings are available through a no-cost subscription. Subscription involves completing a short survey about yourself and your scholarly interests. All postings are also available from H-URBAN's web site, without subscription. (Subscribe Now).


How do I post a message to H-URBAN?
Send all messages intended for posting to H-URBAN at to make sure your message gets to the list.

Who may post a message to H-URBAN?
You do not have to be subscribed to H-URBAN to submit a message to the list.

What languages are used?
H-URBAN functions in English, the working language of most of its members. In order to encourage international participation, messages and documents are accepted in French, Spanish, and German. Where possible, an English summary of a posting should be included, since translation cannot be guaranteed.

I am doing research. May I post a query asking about scholarly sources?
Queries on scholarly sources are most welcome, and, when constructed according to the policy below, have provided some of the most fruitful postings on H-URBAN.

In general, all queries for sources should be accompanied by a description (about a paragraph in length) of the research that is being undertaken on the topic on which sources are requested. Such requests should include the titles of at least a couple of the "standard" sources that have been consulted using traditional bibliographical search methods. The reason for this policy is twofold: to fulfill H-URBAN's policy of disseminating information on research that is underway in the international community, and to discourage the use of H-URBAN to take the place of basic bibliographic research.

Are all messages posted automatically without editing?
In processing postings to the list, the List Editors examine each message or contribution before forwarding it to the list subscribers, or before adding the document to an archive. The editors may alter the text to make minor grammatical and spelling corrections, to add the originator's name and address, and to ensure that the postings conform to the scholarly style and substance of H-URBAN. Should the editors believe that more substantial changes are needed to achieve this goal, they may send the posting back to the subscriber with a statement of their concerns and suggested changes. In some cases, the editors may reject a posting without contacting the sender.

Frequently, editors add keywords to the subject line of a posting to aid reading and searching the posts.

H-URBAN is primarily intended for the discussion and dissemination of scholarship on urban history and urban studies. In general advertisements are not permitted and will be removed from a message, or can be the cause of a post being rejected for publication to H-URBAN. Educational announcements that include advertising content may be edited.

Further, H-URBAN cannot and should not promote political causes, nor advocate on behalf of particular political interests, except where those impact directly on the scholarly pursuits of subscribers or on the future of H-URBAN itself. Therefore, H-URBAN will not post messages or documents which seek to promote specific political campaigns or particular political interests.

Ad hominems, unattributed quotations or innuendo, private messages forwarded for posting without permission, or messages that violate the norms of civility and professional courtesy will be rejected. Persistent violators can be removed from the subscription list.

Any other guidelines I should follow in my messages?

The default editorial style for H-URBAN is a scholarly conversation -- less formal and structured than an article, but more formal than unsupported statements of opinion or casual chats among colleagues well versed in the topic (although *occasionally* these are appropriate). The audience for H-URBAN ranges from graduate students to senior scholars, and H-URBAN functions to educate as well as to encourage collaboration and consultation. Thus, H-URBAN welcomes references to scholarly books and articles within messages, and, if the author of the posting has time, to a brief statement about how the book fits into the discussion (although this is not required).

Because H-URBAN is an international list, those who post are also encouraged to explicitly solicit feedback on their topic in an international context, rather than focusing on practices within a particular nation. This is not always possible, but it facilitates comparison too often lacking in discussions focused on a single nation.

All mail to H-URBAN must include name, institution, and, if possible, department. Send all messages intended for posting to H-URBAN at
for publication.

The H-URBAN editors will delay posting until authorship and email address are confirmed. If you are an independent scholar, feel free to include a note to the editors indicating whether you would like that indicated, or just include your name in the posting.

To minimize technical difficulties, messages should be sent to H-URBAN in plain text: no styles, html, special fonts, graphics files, or nonstandard characters (except diacriticals, which are acceptable). Signature files are subject to editing for content and length. Advertisements in signatures will be removed. As a courtesy to hard working editors, please remove or turn off <.vcf> files, digital signatures, or other automatic attachments.

The H-URBAN list cannot accept attachments. If you have important material you wish to publish on H-URBAN, rather than attempt to send it as an attachment, copy and paste it into an e-mail message with appropriate formatting.

Who has the copyright to messages posted to H-URBAN?
H-URBAN supports fair access to and fair use of digital materials, and seeks to balance the rights of intellectual property holders with the informational and instructional needs of students, scholars, libraries, and the informed public.

H-URBAN considers posting to H-URBAN (as contrasted with private e-mail correspondence) to be a form of publication.

  1. Original Messages: Although authors of messages posted to H-URBAN retain the copyright for those messages, sending a message for posting will constitute permission to H-NET and to H-URBAN and its subscribers for electronic distribution and downloading for nonprofit educational purposes with proper attribution to the author, the originating list, and the date of original posting. Original messages to H-URBAN are not in the public domain, and may not be used for other than educational, nonprofit purposes without the permission of the copyright holder and notification to H-NET.
  2. Commissioned works: Unless otherwise indicated, book reviews, essays, and multimedia materials commissioned by H-URBAN are copyrighted by H-NET. H-NET permits the redistribution and reprinting of these materials for nonprofit, educational purposes, with full and accurate attribution to the author, location, date of publication, H-URBAN, and H-NET: Humanities & Social Sciences Online. For any other proposed use, contact the H-NET Executive Director.
  3. Copyrighted Works: Consistent with the objective of encouraging creativity in scholarship and education, contributors are encouraged to transmit copyrighted works to or through H-URBAN, with the express permission of the copyright holder or in accordance with the fair use provisions of copyright law.

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H-URBAN publishs peer-reviews of books and multimedia, which it commissions. Reviews are posted to the H-URBAN discussion list and archived on the H-NET Reviews website, which has powerful search tools.

Go to H-URBAN Reviews for a list of only H-URBAN reviews published to date. H-URBAN welcomes recommendations of books and software to review, and encourages scholars to volunteer to review books.


One goal of H-URBAN is to promote dissemination of information on the methods of teaching history to graduate and undergraduate students in diverse settings. With that in mind, the H-URBAN Teaching Center provides urban-related syllabi, instructor comments, articles, outlines, handouts, and guides to term papers, as well as encourages discussions of pedagogy in urban history and urban studies.

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Page last updated on 25 April 2014 ca