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1 July 1994 Journal History
Lorna Depew, Edward Vanden Berghe
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Journal HistoryDuring its 85-year life-time, the Journal has gone through several name changes, and through several changes in numbering of volumes and volume parts. The purpose of this editorial is to set the record straight, and clear up any possible confusion. At the same time, we would like to honour our predecessors, and to highlight some of the most significant work that has been published in the Journal.When the East Africa Natural History Society was founded in 1909 its first priorities were to set up a museum and to begin a journal. The museum was to house the collections of plant and animal specimens being accumulated by private individuals. The Journal was created for publication of the rapidly growing fund of information which was being accumulated by the many amateur and professional naturalists in East Africa at that time. The first issue of the Journal of the East Africa and Uganda Natural History Society was published in January, 1910, and it has been in continuous publication (with several name changes to reflect the changes in the structure of the East African community and the status of the Society) ever since. Through the determination of those involved in its production, the Journal has remained in publication for 85 years, through two world wars—though the second nearly saw the end of it. Over the years a number of supplements have been published on many subjects. The first of these was a Check List of the Birds of East Africa and Uganda published in 1917.The first issue in 1910 was 57 pages long and had material on a wide variety of topics from francolins of East Africa to butterflies, plants, fishing, elephants, snakebite, geology, chameleons and primates. This diversity of material has been maintained throughout the years.Though it was hoped from the first that there would be four issues per year, this was not achieved until 1925 and has never been consistent—the usual number continued to be two issues per year until 1970 when, with issue 119, it was agreed that for the sake of economy, the issues should be printed as occasional papers and as many as possible printed each year. In some years this was very productive and but in others not many papers were published.Of course, it is the authors who ultimately make the difference in whether a Journal succeeds or fails. In the words of the first secretary of the Society, Mr John Sergeant, "...it is confidently expected that... each member will make a point of sending in something of, interest during the year for publication in our columns, and in this connection it seems almost needless to remind members that the success or otherwise of the Journal rests entirely in their hands." Indeed many of the early members were contributors. Names such as Bally, Carcasson and Leakey will be instantly recognised, others less so, but they all contributed to the abundance of knowledge of the biodiversity of the region contained within the pages of the Journal. While we no longer expect that all members will send contributions, the Journal's success still lies in their hands.In 1925 two important series, "Birds of Kenya and Uganda" and "Butterflies of Kenya and Uganda" were launched as part of the Journal. The first, authored by V.G.L. van Someren, continued until 1935 and the second, authored by V.G.L. van Someren and Canon Rogers, continued until 1939, usually in every second issue. These two series were a major contribution to the natural history of the region. Several of R.H. Carcasson's papers on Lepidoptera appeared in the Journal, e.g. "The Swallowtails of East Africa (Lepidoptera, Papilionidae)", published in 1950 and reprinted in 1975.In the 1940s, when the war was creating major financial, personnel and other problems for the Society, an attempt was made to have at least one article in each issue which could be reprinted and sold as a "handbook" on some subject of public interest. These were a great success and went a long way to solving some of the financial problems caused by the war.Over the years the Journal of the East Africa Natural History Society has had a number of very committed Editors (see box for a full list). The first were C.W. Hobley, C.M.G., and T.J. Anderson, B.Sc., without whom the venture might never have got off the ground. Hobley stayed on as Editor until 1920 and really gave the Journal a good start. In 1922 Dr V.G.L. van Someren took over as acting Editor and from then until 1936 he was either full editor or head of an editorial committee, publishing no less than 43 issues. He also made important contributions to the actual content of the Journal. Another long-serving editor was Dr P.J. Greenway who took over the editorship in 1960 and continued until 1976 with some assistance from Mrs J. Hayes and A.D. Forbes-Watson in the early 70s. He again was responsible for keeping the Journal going and maintaining the quality at a high level through some very difficult times.As previously mentioned, there have been several changes in name from the original title, Journal of the East Africa and Uganda Natural History Society. This reflected the state of the East African community at the time. In 1941 a resolution was passed by the 31st AGM of the Society changing its name to the East Africa Natural History Society and the name of the journal was accordingly changed to the Journal of the East Africa Natural History Society. In 1940, the Journal became the official publication of the Coryndon Memorial Museum and in 1962 the name was again changed to the Journal of the East Africa Natural History Society and Coryndon Museum in order to reflect more accurately this relationship. So in 1965, when the name of the Museum changed to the National Museum, the Journal also had to change its name to the Journal of the East Africa Natural History Society and National Museum. This name continued until 1994 when the merger with Utafui (more about that later) was finalised and the name was changed to The Journal of East African Natural History.The numbering system has been somewhat confusing throughout and has varied over the years. The most consistent numbering has been the issue numbers given consecutively (with a few exceptions) through all issues. The Volume numbers haven't always been given, but an attempt has been made by those editors who did use them to bring them up to date. Because of this, some of the volume numbers appear to be missing, i.e. VII through XII, 29 and 30, 33 through 74, but in actual fact are not. With the new format and name, it was decided to retain the old volume numbers (the next being the present Vol. 83), but to use 1 and 2 for the issue numbers each year to be more in line with present convention.Many problems have plagued the production of the Journal throughout its history including those which continue today, i.e. not enough material, delays at and problems with printers, authors not returning papers on time, and, in particular, the high cost of production.Until 1924, when costs were soaring, the Journal was printed in England. It was printed locally from 1924 until the second world war when it became impossible to produce in East Africa due to lack of almost all printing facilities, especially paper, and it nearly failed completely. The result was a decision to have the printing done in England. This was a success and all of the back issues were finally caught up by 1947. By the early 1950s things had improved enough in East Africa that printing could be returned to Kenya and has remained here since. Problems with printers continued, however, and became nearly impossible in the eighties when there were long gaps in production due to printing delays. With a change in printers, production was resumed on a fairly regular basis until 1993 when it was thought that negotiations to combine the JEANHS with Utafiti had been completed. It had been hoped that Vol 82:200 would be the last in the old format, but this was not to be and two more issues were produced simply to keep things going in the interim while discussions were being held to finalise the merger.Because the EANHS is the parent organisation of the Nairobi Museum, the relationship between the National Museums of Kenya and the EANHS has always been close. The Museum was founded by the Society in 1909 with specimens donated by various members. It was housed in a room in the Society's quarters in downtown Nairobi. By 1938 it had grown to a very large collection which was housed in a proper museum building. At that time it was felt that it had grown to a point where the Society no longer had the resources to run it and it was handed over to a board of trustees on which the Society had two representatives. However, the extensive library and the production of the Journal were retained by the Society. For many years the Museum had wanted to take over the production of the Journal, but no agreement could be reached between the Museum and the Society and so in 1988 theEditors:YearsVolumeIssue Editor(s)1910 1912I II1 6C.W. Hobley, CMG, and T.J. Anderson, BSc1913 1920IV7 15C.W. Hobley, CMG1921 192216 Rev. K. St A. Robers, EES1922 192317 18Dr V.G.L. van Someren, acting Editor1924 192919 36Dr V.G.L. van Someren, full Editor1930 193537 49/50Editorial Committee1935 1936XIII XIII1/2(51/52) - 3/4(59/60)Dr V.G.L. van Someren1938 1939XIII XIV5(61) - 1/2(62/63)A.F.J. Gedye1939 1940XIV XV3(64) - 1/2(66/67)G.R. Cunningham van Someren1941 1946XV XIX3/4(68/69) - 3/4(87/88)J.R. Hudson, BSc, MRCVS1947XIX5(89) Editorial Committee of L.S.B. Leakey, D.G. Maclnnes, A.F.J. Gedye, J.G. Williams1950 1952XIX XX6(90) 2(92)C.A.W. Guggisberg, MSc, MBOU1953 1856XXII - XXIII1(93) - 1(98)J.G. Williams, Esq., MBOU1958 1960XXIII - XXIII2(99) - 5(102)Mary Aldridge1960 1975XXIII6(103) - 56Dr P.J. Greenway with assistance from Mrs J. Hayes from 1970 to 1972 and by A.D. Forbes-Watson in 1973 and by a journal Editorial Subcommittee from 1970 onwards.1976 1979157 169Mrs Jean Hayes1980170Mrs Jean Hayes, M. Gilbert, Dr A. Hill1981171 174Mrs Jean Hayes, M. Gilbert, Prof. E. Lucas1982 1984175 - 180M.E.J. Gore, Shereen Karmali1984181Dr J.J. Herbrard, Dr D. Widdowson1985 198875 78182 192Dr H.J. Benntje, Dr J.J. Hebrard198978 193Dr H.J. Beentje1989 199279 82194 200Mr C.F. Dewhurst1992 199382 - 82202 203Dr E. vanden Berghe1994 - present83 1 2Dr E. Vanden Berghe, Mr T. Pearce, Committee of two additional members each from the East Africa Natural History Society and the National Museums of KenyaMuseum began its own Journal entitled Utafiti which was edited first by H.J. Beentje and subsequently by H.J. Beentje and B. Khayota, by Dr W. Migongo-Bake and by Dr L. Bennun. Four volumes were produced between 1988 and 1992 with seven issues. Several numbers were published as occasional papers of the NMK. In 1991 negotiations were begun for the merger of the two journals into one. The result of this merger is the journal you hold in your hand. In recognition of the fact that it was by far the older publication, was already the official publication of the Museum and in order to retain the internationally recognised abbreviation, the essentials of the original name, Journal of the East Africa Natural History Society, were retained and the numbering in that publication is continued in the new format. The real essence of the change is that the Museum and the Society now have a joint share in both the editorship and costs of production. It is hoped that this real co-operation will produce a product which will be both informative and enjoyable.Lorna Depew and Edward Vanden Berghe

Lorna Depew and Edward Vanden Berghe "Journal History," Journal of East African Natural History 83(2), 97-100, (1 July 1994). https://doi.org/10.2982/0012-8317(1994)83[97:JH]2.0.CO;2
Published: 1 July 1994
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