40: the Journal for Contemporary History, 1975 to 2015
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The Journal for Contemporary History / Joernaal vir Eietydse Geskiedenis – henceforth referred to as the JCH – was established in 1975 at the University of the Orange Free State (since 2001, the University of the Free State) in Bloemfontein, South Africa. In the course of its first 40 years, the JCH had only five Editors. In the years 1975 to 2015, no fewer than 764 articles and 246 book reviews appeared in 94 editions of the JCH. In this article, written by one of the former JCH Editors, the history of this accredited, peer-reviewed academic journal is traced, and its content is critically evaluated. Issues that are addressed include the themes that have been dealt with in JCH articles, the extent to which the profile of the authors have changed in the course of 40 years, the evolution of the JCH’s Editorial Board, and what role book reviews have played. Although some of the information that has emerged from the analysis and evaluation may be regarded as merely ephemeral in nature, certain data and other information could be regarded as essential for determining the degree of success that the JCH has thus far achieved, and how it may be of value for future planning.