The International Committee of Historical Sciences (ICHS) or le International Committee of Historical Sciences (CISH) has been founded in Geneva on May 15, 1926. Today, the organization encompasses a total of fifty-three countries.
The ICHS includes two sorts of organizations. First of all, there are the National Committees formed in each country from their individual centers for historical research. In addition, International Commissions specializing in particular fields of history (some known as ‘International Affiliated Organizations’ and others as Internal Commissions) have formed over the years.
The major occupation of the ICHS is the Congress, held every five years.
The Committee shall hold a General Assembly at least every three years. Each Congress shall be immediately preceded and followed by a General Assembly.
A Board is responsible for the functioning and co-ordination of ICHS activities. Please, see the constitution of ICHS.
Marjatta Hietala, professor of general history, School for Social Sciences and Humanities/ History, University of Tampere, Finland, President of International Committee for Historical Sciences
Today, networking is the key word in the world wide communication. Since 1898, the Congresses of Historians have promoted international networking and cooperation between historians. The main challenges for historians come from globalization.
The questions are:
How to keep International Committee for Historical Sciences (CISH ) attractive enough for various specialized fields of research?
What will be the impact of the internet on our field? Will historians come together to listen debates which one can read on internet? Finally, how to maintain the status of professional historians when the internet and its various forums provide an opportunity for everyone to produce histories?
International Congresses of Historians have been of great importance in building bridges between different cultures and ideologies. Thus I will do my best in keeping CISH as a platform for scholarly debates and as a forum for new innovative methods and approaches – as it has been for decades. For years, the goal has also been to steer activities of CISH from solely European orientation towards a true Global Community of Historians. We have to cross borders in order to understand different cultures, ideologies, methods and to collaborate.