Note: This is the first offering in what we hope will be an ongoing series of blog posts from the elected officers of H-Net.

Writing in 2004, Jonathan Spence wondered whether he might be the last AHA President to have experienced a once-ubiquitous artifact, the schoolroom inkwell. With his characteristic subtlety of evocation and economy of style, Spence invoked this memory to reflect on the changes in scholarly practice he had witnessed over his career.

Those of us trained in the 1980s and 1990s have lived through a transformation at least as momentous as the disappearance of inkwells: the