National Speleological Society

AMERICAN SPELEAN HISTORY
ASSOCIATION


The American Spelean History Association (ASHA) is an internal organization of the National Speleological Society that is devoted to the study, interpretation, and dissemination of information about spelean history, which includes folklore, legends, and historical facts about caves throughout the world and the people who are associated with them, their thoughts, philosophies, difficulties, tragedies, and triumphs.

Membership:  Membership in the Association is open to anyone who is interested in the history of man's use of caves.  Membership in the National Speleological Society is not required.  Click here for a membership application.  (If the application doesn't print correctly a  PDF version of  the application is also available).

Journal of Spelean History (ISSN 0022-4693):  This is the Association's publication and is mailed to all members.  It is nominally published on a semi-annual basis, but if insufficient material is available for an issue, the publication schedule may not be met.  The Journal includes articles covering a wide variety of topics relating to man's use of caves, including historical cave exploration and use, saltpeter and other mineral extraction, show cave development and history, and other related topics.  It is the primary medium for conveying information and ideas within the caving history community.  All members are strongly encouraged to contribute material and to comment on published material.  Items for publication should be submitted to the Editor.

Cumulative Journal of Spelean History Index and List of Issues Published: There is a cumulative index to the issues in searchable HTML format and a printable version of the cumulative index in PDF format.

Free Back Issues:  The Journal of Spelean History started publication in 1968 and copies of all back issues greater than five years old are available as PDF files that can be downloaded at no cost.  Click here to go to the page containing links to the issues that can be downloaded.

Dues:  Dues (or subscriptions) are $2.00 per Journal of Spelean History issue mailed to U.S. addresses.  Checks should be made payable to "ASHA" and sent to the Treasurer.  Sorry, we cannot accept credit cards.

NSS Convention Session:  ASHA sponsors the Spelean History session at the annual National Speleological Society Convention, at which presentations are made on a variety of topics of interest to the cave historian.  Anyone is welcome (and encouraged) to do a presentation at the session.  Contact the President or see the Call for Presentations for more information.

NSS Convention Session Abstracts: Abstracts of many Spelean History presentations made at NSS Conventions are available in a searchable PDF file here (88 pages, 500 Kbytes)  After downloading, the file can be searched with most PDF viewer programs.

Annual Association Meeting
:  The Association holds its only formal meeting each year at the NSS Convention.  All Association business, including election of officers, is done at that meeting.

Printed Back Issues: Paper copies of all back issues are also available, although many of the early issues are reprints. Order back issues from the Treasurer.  The cost (U.S. postage included) is:
Foreign Members:  ASHA Welcomes members from foreign countries.  The rate for all foreign members is US$5.00 per Journal of Spelean History issue for printed copies, or $2.00 per issue for electronic (PDF) copies sent as e-mail attachments.  We regret that all checks must be payable in US$ and drawn on a U.S. bank.  Send cash at your own risk.

The Peter M. Hauer Spelean History Award: This Award is presented annual to an individual for outstanding work in the field of cave history,  For more information, and a list of recipients, click here.

Special Interest Files

List of Saltpeter Caves:  Many U.S. caves were used a source of saltpeter (an ingredient in gunpowder) until after the Civil War.  Doug Plemons has produced a comprehensive list of these caves and the latest (2006) edition of his list is available here as a PDF file (75 Kbytes).

Photographers of the Mammoth Cave Area: Bob Thompson has created a comprehensive list of photographers of the  Mammoth Cave area that includes many photos and related documentation.  Click here to view the list as a PDF file (28 Mbytes).

History of Pendleton County (W. Va.) Caves: This is a chapter from The Caves and Karst of Pendleton County, by George Dasher.  The chapter was written by John C. Taylor and describes the history of some of the County's famous saltpeter caves.  Click here for more information and to download a PDF version of the chapter (206 Kbytes).


ASHA Administrative Documents:
            Articles of Incorporation
            Bylaws
            Early History of the Association (through 1993)

For more information: Send e-mail to asha@caves.org if you have any questions about the Association or cave history.

Current ASHA Officers:
President
Dean Snyder
3213 Fairland Dr., Schnecksville, PA 18078
Vice-President Carolyn Cronk
870 Yarnell Dr., Larkspur CO 80118
Secretary-Treasurer Robert Hoke
6304 Kaybro St., Laurel, MD 20707   (301)725-5877 bob@rhoke.net
JSH Editor
Greg Brick
1001 Front Ave., Saint Paul, MN 55103 Aplustre "@" msn.com

image of the ASHA patch
ASHA patch.  This 4" cloth patch is available for $4.00 and is free to new members who join for at least 8 issues ($16.00).  Send orders to the Treasurer.

Useful links:

www.caves.org  is the National Speleological Society, the national organization of cavers.
 
www.gregbrick.org  Greg Brick, Editor of the JSH, has an evolving Web site that includes information about caves and cave history in the upper Midwest.  

www.cavern.com is the National Caves Association, a trade group that includes most of the commercial caves in the United States.
 
www.frontierfolk.net/bluegrassgrotto/floyd-c.html is a Web page maintained by Jon Hagee and dedicated to Floyd Collins, the cave explorer who died in Sand Cave (Kentucky) in 1925 after being trapped for several days.

www.caves.org/member/mfraley/ This Web site, titled The Carbide Caver, contains lots of useful information about the operation, history, and maintenanance of carbide lamps.  The site belongs to Mike Fraley.

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(this page last updated or validated on March 30, 2017