With this volume, The Journal of Interdisciplinary History entered its fiftieth year of publication. In order to celebrate and demonstrate how interdisciplinary scholarship has flourished and evolved over five decades, we have commissioned essays by members of our board of editors and long-time collaborators on their special fields of expertise. Michael McCormick’s “Climates of History, Histories of Climate: From History to Archaeoscience” and Peter Temin’s “Words and Numbers: A New Approach to Writing Ancient History” appeared in the inaugural issue. This second installment has Anne Hardy’s “The Under-Appreciated Rat and Other Under-Appreciated Rodents: Harbingers of Plague from the Black Death to Twenty-First-Century America,” Steven A. Epstein’s “Environmental History in the JIH, 1970–2020,” and Peter A. Coclanis’ “Field Notes: Agricultural History’s New Plot.”

The third issue of the fiftieth volume will include George Alter’s “The Evolution of Demographic Models in Historical Demography” and Steven Ruggles and Diana L. Magnuson’s “The History of Quantification in History: The JIH as a Case Study.” The series will conclude with Peter Burke’s “Art and History, 1969–2019,” E. Anthony Wrigley’s “The Interplay of Demographic, Economic, and Social History,” Myron P. Gutmann’s “Quantifying Interdisciplinary History—The Record of (Nearly) Fifty Years of the JIH,” and Anne E. C. McCants’ “Economic History and the Historians.”

These new essays both exemplify the special fields of interdisciplinary history as it has evolved over fifty years and point the way toward future research on these and related topics. The JIH prides itself on its receptivity to new areas and foci of research into past times; on its ability to publish innovative, even speculative, scholarly research findings; and on its openness to broad, and deep, connections between historicism and advances in cognate sciences and humanities.

We trust that our readers will welcome and applaud this collection of special essays on important, pathbreaking subjects along with our continued publication of the best interdisciplinary historical research from scholars in several disciplines and many universities and research institutes in North and South America, Europe, Asia, and beyond.

Fifty years of journal publication represents only an anniversary along a much longer journey. We offer these new special articles as a marker preparing the profession, and our readers, for the untold years of new discoveries and new scholarship that lie ahead.