History Matters Undergraduate Journal

History Matters: An Undergraduate Journal of Historical Research is an electronic journal published annually by the department of history at Appalachian State University. The journal is edited by undergraduates with the help of a faculty board. 

Our Story:

Have you ever spent so much time and effort on something that you wanted to share it with other people? Have you ever felt unfulfilled receiving only a grade and your own satisfaction as rewards for your hard work? Have you ever wanted to get your work published?

Eric Burnette did. In the spring of 2003, Burnette, a freshman at Appalachian State University, was looking for an outlet for his research paper. He was frustrated by the lack of venues for undergraduate research, and he figured that other students probably felt the same way. He thought an academic journal for students might provide a place for undergraduates to be recognized for their work, and he sought the advice of one of his professors, Dr. Michael Moore, who had edited a professional journal of British history for over twenty-five years. Dr. Moore began advising Burnette on how best to go about starting a journal for undergraduate historical research. Another Appalachian student, Matthew Manes, was asked to join the interesting experiment, and together they laid the groundwork for History Matters.

Our first deadline was in late January 2004. For the editorial staff, it was an extensive and time-consuming process of reading, revising, and communicating with both the authors and the Faculty Editorial Board. In the end, the collaboration published one research paper, one research essay, and three editorial book reviews. This first issue of History Matters: An Undergraduate Journal of Historical Research was published on April 28, 2004 on an earlier version of this website.

From the beginning, Burnette and Manes wanted to expand the journal. The more students who were involved, the more students had the opportunity to be published, and the better those papers would be. The 2004-2005 school year saw the participation of the University of North Carolina—Asheville and Western Carolina University, as well as submissions from half a dozen schools nationwide. The 2005 issue was published with two research papers, one from Appalachian State and one from a student at Villanova University. Five book reviews from the editorial staff at all three participating departments were also published.

We now accept submissions from all undergraduates nationwide and internationally. For the Spring 2012 issue, we received over 120 submissions from dozens of colleges and universities! We ultimately selected eight of those papers for publication. History Matters continues to grow and prosper thanks to the supportive faculties, departments of history, and universities involved. Most importantly, we owe the success of the journal to the students who have submitted their hard work and contributed their time, effort, and ideas.