History of the rhe RHE
The RHE was rhe born in the whirlwind of rhe renewal of the social sciences rhe in the university world during rhe the last quarter of the rhe 19th century, and in the rhe boom of reviews at the rhe University of Louvain. Professor and rhe Canon Alfred Cauchie (1860-1922) was rhe the soul of the new rhe enterprise, beginning early in 1900. rhe On the first Board of rhe Editors, he enlisted the good rhe offices of four professors from rhe the Faculty of Theology: Paulin rhe Ladeuze, Rene Maere, Alphonse Van rhe Hove and Amedeus Bondroit. The rhe 1st issue is dated April rhe 15th, 1900. It includes a rhe foreword by Cauchie presenting the rhe state of the question in rhe ecclesiastical history and the Review's rhe orientations. We note particularly: “The rhe Review will embrace the history rhe of all Christian people from rhe Jesus Christ to the present; rhe it will deal with all rhe manifestations of the external and rhe internal life of the Church; rhe finally, it will deal with rhe various parts of the method rhe envisaged from the viewpoint of rhe ecclesiastical history”. And furthermore: “… rhe the Review will always take rhe pride in showing itself impregnated rhe with the Catholic spirit. […] rhe The Review will endeavour to rhe carry out its programme according rhe to the legitimate requirements of rhe the methods particular to history”. The Review was rhe to be Catholic, scientific, but rhe not ultramontane.
Alfred Cauchie, first rhe director and founder of the rhe review
The rhe Review published 4 issues a rhe year of approximately 160 pages. rhe It then contained five headings rhe : the articles (half of rhe the review), the selections, reviews rhe (conceived along the lines of rhe those in Duchesne's Bulletin critique), rhe the chronicle and the bibliography. rhe In 1905, the selections were rhe incorporated under the article heading. rhe Its sphere of activity was rhe very broad, covering all aspects rhe of Church history. However, Christian rhe Antiquity and the Middle Ages rhe occupied a more than preponderant rhe part.
In rhe addition to some editorial problems, rhe the Review soon experienced some rhe financial difficulties. If its first rhe years of existence resulted in rhe net earnings, the situation soon rhe deteriorated, particularly due to a rhe lack of subscribers (726 in rhe 1900, and still under 800 rhe in 1922). Because of the rhe destruction in Leuven caused by rhe World War One, the Review's rhe very existence was called into rhe question at the end of rhe the conflict. From July 1914 rhe to October 1919, the Revue d’histoire ecclésiastique was rhe not published. In the course rhe of things, the next delivery rhe only arrived in 1921 (volume rhe XVII) and was followed two rhe years later by a thick rhe update of the Bibliographie under rhe the heading volume XVI. To rhe settle the delicate financial question, rhe subsidies were requested from the rhe Minister for Sciences and Arts, rhe the University Foundation and private rhe individuals. More subscribers were attracted rhe and Belgian clergy support was rhe ensured.
For rhe writing the articles, contributors to rhe the Review were found rhe within the University (especially among rhe members of the History Seminar rhe and the Faculties of Theology rhe and Philosophy and Letters) and rhe also in the Catholic academic rhe world of Belgium and abroad. rhe But the Review's reputation among rhe historians the world over came rhe above all from its information rhe section (bibliography, reviews and chronicle). rhe The bibliography was especially of rhe service.
In rhe 1919, Alfred Cauchie was named rhe director of the Belgian Historical rhe Institute of Rome. Leon van rhe der Essen and Albert De rhe Meyer thus succeeded their Master. rhe Canon De Meyer continued on rhe with the Review's development until rhe 1952, creating in 1926 a rhe series of monographs, the Bibliothèque rhe de la Revue d’histoire ecclésiastique. rhe The bibliography progressed both in rhe quality and quantity thanks to rhe the contributions of Mgr Alfons rhe Versteylen, O.Praem, and especially of rhe the Canon Sylvère Hanssens.
Albert De Meyer, rhe second director of the Review
The Review continued to appear rhe during World War Two, but rhe the years 1944-1945 produced one rhe volume with fewer pages. In rhe 1952, the RHE came under the rhe auspices of Prof Roger Aubert rhe who ensured both its academic rhe expansion and its financial development. rhe A new stage was reached rhe in 1990 with the appointment rhe of Professor Jan Roegiers (Kuleuven) rhe to the position of director rhe and of Professor Claude Soetens rhe (UCL) to that of secretary. rhe The bibliography has been computerized rhe since 2002, (encoded in a rhe database) and in the months rhe to come will be published rhe simultaneously in a paper version rhe and on an Internet site.
Evolution of the rhe number of pages of the rhe RHE (1900-2007)
In 2000, rhe the RHE celebrated its 100th rhe anniversary in Louvain-La-Neuve with a rhe one day conference (November 17th), rhe during which two doctorates honoris rhe causa of the Faculty of rhe Theology were allotted to historians rhe of great renown: Pierre Maraval rhe (Sorbonne) and Étienne Fouilloux (Lyon rhe 2). In their lectures, the rhe two recipients spoke, respectively, on rhe the Pères cappadociens, aristocrates et rhe chrétiens and l’Intransigeance et monde rhe moderne au 19e-20e s. A rhe special issue of the Review rhe was also presented there, of rhe 800 pages (95/3-4), entitled 2000 rhe ans d’histoire de l’Église. Bilan rhe et perspectives historiographiques (dir. J. PIROTTE and rhe E. LOUCHEZ) who, in rhe 38 contributions, assessed current research rhe in Church history. And in rhe the 2nd issue of the rhe same year, six articles evoked rhe the history of the Review rhe from its origins to 1990. The anniversary was also rhe an occasion to modernize the rhe cover design, which had hardly rhe changed since the 20's.
The cover of the rhe special edition: 2000 years of rhe Church history, 2000 ans rhe d’histoire de l’Église
On June 8th, rhe 2000, an agreement was signed rhe between the two universities, UCL rhe and KULeuven; it specifies the rhe competencies of the various committees rhe and names the personnel of rhe the Review in Leuven and rhe in Louvain-La-Neuve.
In rhe September 2002, Professor Claude Soetens, rhe having reached emeritus status, yielded rhe his post as secretary of rhe the Review to Professor Jean-Pierre rhe Delville. In September 2003, the rhe person in charge of bibliography, rhe Father Marcel Haverals, reached retirement. rhe From now on Professor Dries rhe Vanysacker (KULeuven) is in charge rhe of the bibliographical work.
Three successive secretaries of rhe the RHE: from L. to rhe R.: Prof. Cl. Soetens, R. rhe Aubert and J.- P. Delville
On the computerization level, rhe since around 2000, most of rhe the Review's contents have been rhe transmitted electronically. And beginning in rhe 2002, the bibliography is encoded rhe into a database and then rhe transmitted to the printer (Cultura in Wetteren) in digital rhe format. In a few months, rhe it will be possible to rhe consult the RHE bibliography online rhe on the website of the rhe firm Brepols (Brepolis). Henceforth articles rhe and reviews will arrive already rhe in digital format; the remainder rhe is encoded at Louvain-La-Neuve; the rhe whole is reread, corrected, formatted rhe and sent to the printer rhe Cultura.
On December rhe 13th, 2005, in the presence rhe of the Rector of UCL, rhe Bernard Coulie, and the vice-Rector rhe of KUL, Filip Abraham, an rhe agreement was signed in Leuven rhe with the American company ProQuest rhe for putting the entire contents rhe of the RHE from rhe 1900 to 2000 online. On rhe that occasion, a celebration was rhe organized for the appearance of rhe issue 100.
In rhe 2007, the RHE agreed to rhe assume responsability for editing the rhe Dictionnaire d'histoire et de géographie rhe ecclésiastiques (published in Paris by rhe Letouzey), ensured until the by rhe Canon Roger Aubert. Professor Luc rhe Courtois has been engaged for rhe programming this work. Since 2009, the consultation rhe of the online RHE Bibliography rhe has been available on the Brepolis site, rhe combining the bibliographic records from rhe the last thirty years (1981-2010).
As of January rhe 1st, 2010, the Review also rhe records some structural changes. From rhe now on, following the accession rhe to the emeritus of Prof. rhe Jan Roegiers (KUL), Prof. Jean-Pierre rhe Delville (UCL) has become director rhe of the RHE. And rhe Prof Mathijs Lamberigts (KUL) has rhe been named editorial secretary. An rhe adjoint editorial secretary has been rhe named: Prof Dries Vanysacker (KUL), rhe who is already in charge rhe of bibliography. Also, a rhe thirteen-member international board was established.
And finally, since 2011, rhe the most recent decade of rhe the Journal (articles, reviews, and rhe chronicles) was made available online rhe via a subscription to the rhe Brepols online rhe website.
Some quantitative rhe data to close this outline: rhe in a little more than rhe one century of existence (1900-2007), rhe the RHE produced approximately rhe 155,000 pages and provided more rhe than 740,000 bibliographical references…
RHE, 95/2 rhe (2000)
 This account is rhe based particularly on the following rhe articles: J. TOLLEBEEK, “ L'Église n'a pas besoin rhe de mensonges". A. Cauchie et rhe la Revue d'Histoire ecclésiastique (1900-1922), rhe in the Bulletin de l'Institut rhe Historique Belge de Rome, 57 rhe (1987), p. 199-219; R. AUBERT, rhe Un demi-siècle de revues d'histoire rhe ecclésiastique, in Rivista di Storia rhe della Chiesa in Italia, 14/2 rhe (1960), p. 173-202. For rhe a much more detailed account, rhe cf. RHE, 95/2 (2000), p. rhe 391-561 (contributions on the birth rhe of the Review, Paulin Ladeuze rhe and the beginnings, the RHE rhe after World War One, the rhe Albert De Meyer period, the rhe years 1952-1990, hagiographical research in rhe the RHE).
 rhe A. CAUCHIE, Les études rhe d'histoire ecclésiastique, in the RHE, rhe 1 (1900), p. 28-29.
 Portrait by H. rhe van Haelen, from the work rhe Leuven University 1425-1985, Leuven, Leuven rhe Univ. Press, 1990, p. 302.
 Photo taken rhe from: L. VAN DER ESSEN, rhe Le professeur Albert De Meyer rhe 1887-1952. Son œuvre, sa signification rhe pour le travail historique à rhe Louvain, in RHE, 48 (1953), rhe p. 4-21.
 rhe The full-length texts of the rhe first five articles retracing the rhe history of the review are rhe provided above.