Frequently Asked QuestionsWhat is the Independence Hall Association?
The Independence Hall Association (IHA) is one of the foremost electronic publishers of material on America's Revolutionary and Constitutional eras, with a "congress" of websites within the ushistory.org network attracting more than 2.8 million hits monthly. A non-profit organization dedicated to education and historic preservation, the IHA was established in 1942 to spearhead the creation of Independence National Historic Park in Philadelphia, where the United States' Declaration of Independence and Constitution were adopted, and where, as our nation's first capital, the many facets of the United States' government and national ideals were established.
What do we publish on ushistory.org?
Along with the soon to released Ben Franklin site, the ushistory.org "Congress of Websites" features:
- The Betsy Ross homepage
- A 65-stop walking tour of America's "Most Historic Square Mile"
- The Liberty Bell homepage
- An updating of John Francis Marion's seminal "Walking Tours of Historic Philadelphia"
- The Valley Forge Historical Society site
- The Brandywine Battlefield homepage
- Biographies of prominent early Americans
- An auspicious start to a virtual Marching Tour of the entire American Revolution entitled "The Philadelphia Campaign of 1777"
Who is our audience?
Our primary audience includes students and teachers from the elementary level through university. The gift of the Internet is to allow virtual "travel" to places all over the world through electronics. The IHA's ushistory.org system allows students and teachers who, for financial or other reasons, may never be able to visit historic Philadelphia the opportunity to experience the landmarks and to know better the remarkable people who founded our nation — all from the convenience of their school library or classroom computer.
Of course, ushistory.org also enjoys visits from individuals interested in American history, and those thinking of visiting historic sites in person. We have had visitations from every state and 82 countries. The IHA receives more than 500 pieces of e-mail weekly asking questions and thanking us for information.
How does the IHA's work differ from the myriad history sites on the Internet?
Most history-based Internet publishing reflects either historic sites providing information on their venues or universities publishing primary source or scholarly material. Very few sites are able to tell the story of the United States' founding in a narrative style that is friendly, easily navigable, yet historically accurate and in-depth. Our work, if published in book form, would run to some 3,000 pages.
Who are the current members of the IHA?
The publishing arm of the IHA consists of a corps of individuals who have worked in print publishing, both historic and mass market, run Internet and other Information technology enterprises, have deep familiarity with high-tech legal and business issues and transaction, have backgrounds in history, the law and education.
The IHA has a broad membership from throughout the United States who provide for its projects. The members are from all backgrounds who share one thing in common — they are passionate about history, particularly about the people, places and events associated with the founding of the United States.
What does the future hold?
The United States' early history has many dimensions of interest to students around the world. Future projects include:
- A George Washington site
- An Early American Art site
- A Declaration of Independence site
- A Dolley Madison site