Middleton, American women’s history Web site win ABC-CLIO award

Contact: Liz Markel
Marketing Specialist, RUSA/ASCLA
(312) 280-4398
lmarkel@ala.org

NEWS
For Immediate Release
March 3, 2009

CHICAGO— Ken Middleton, reference librarian at Middle Tennessee State University, will receive the 2009 ABC-CLIO Online History Award for his professional achievement in online historical reference highlighted by his development of Discovering American Women’s History Online, a web-based historical research tool.

The purpose of the award, administered by the History Section (HS) of the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA), is to encourage, recognize and commend professional achievement in online historical reference and research. Middleton and Discovering American Women’s History Online were selected for the site’s important role as a comprehensive gateway site to more than 400 digital collections and repository websites—including Stanford’s Dime Novels and Penny Dreadfuls, Cornell’s Triangle Factory Fire and the Library of Congress Veterans History Project—documenting the history of women in the United States. From this centralized resource, site users are offered numerous access points such as subject headings, formats and other resource discovery features to uncover primary documents in more than 40 formats, including photographs and artifacts. The breadth of the collections available through Discovering American Women’s History Online also means that the site offers access to more than women’s history—its sources cover all 50 states and dates ranging from the 1600s to the 2000s.

Two Web sites were selected as honorable mentions. Monastic Matrix, directed by Professor Lisa Bitel, department of history, chair of women’s studies, University of Southern California, documents women’s participation in the religious and monastic culture of Europe and the Middle Ages (400-1600), using rigorously peer reviewed contributions, including images, biographies, bibliographies, and primary and secondary sources.   Nuns, patrons, founders, lay sisters and saints are included.

The second honorable mention selection, nixontapes.org, was developed by Luke A. Nichter, assistant professor of history at Tarleton State University-Central Texas. The site is a comprehensive and user-friendly collection of the secretly-recorded tapes made by President Richard Nixon between 1971 and 1973. The site currently offers all of the recordings that have been de-classified and released by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). Transcriptions for many of the tapes are available, enabling the user to both listen and read the conversations at the same time. 

The award—a $3,000 cash prize sponsored by ABC-CLIO and a citation—and honorable mentions will be presented at the RUSA Awards Ceremony and Reception, scheduled for 3:30-5:30 p.m., Monday, July 13, as a part of ALA’s Annual Conference events. The exact location of this event will be announced on the RUSA website and at the RUSA Blog in late spring.

A complete listing of RUSA events at this summer’s Annual Conference, Chicago, July 9-15, can be found at the RUSA website.

The History Section (HS) is a part of the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA), a division of the American Library Association. The section represents the subject interests of its members who work as reference librarians, archivists, bibliographers, genealogists, and in other historical reference and research fields. RUSA is the foremost organization of reference and information professionals who make the connections between people and the information sources, services, and collection materials they need.  For more information, visit www.ala.org/rusa. Not a RUSA member, but  interested in discounted registration rates on conference, RUSA preconferences and other RUSA events? Join, renew or add RUSA to your ALA membership at www.ala.org/membership.