History Section

The History Section represents the subject interests of reference librarians, archivists, bibliographers, genealogists, historians, and others engaged in historical reference or research. It brings together representatives of history collections in all formats from all types of libraries, archives, and historical societies.

History was the first section established within RUSA and is the only group within the American Library Association devoted to the discipline of history. Reflecting the Section's broad representation, its objectives are to identify common problems and to recommend solutions that can enhance service to users. Through its programs, committees, and projects, the Section helps to improve the materials and methods for historical reference and research services.

Topics for History Librarians Discussion Group at ALA Annual

The RUSA History Section History Librarians Discussion Group will meet on Sunday, June 26from 1 - 2:30 PM in Orange County Convention Center, Room W209C.

Based on the survey responses received, we will be discussing these three topics:

1. The problems and possibilities created for historians by international digital collections (see: Putnam, Lara. “The Transnational and the Text-Searchable: Digitized Sources and the Shadows They Cast.” The American Historical Review 121, no. 2 (April 1, 2016): 377–402. doi:10.1093/ahr/121.2.377). Summary of the article's key points will be available for those who do not have access to the article.

2. Finding and leveraging free online archives for use by patrons (several suggestions centered on "zero-budget" options for libraries)

3. PDA/DDA plans ( see the June 2014 “Keeping Up With . . . Patron Driven Acquisitions” by Stephen Arougheti.)

Please come and discuss these topics, suggest your best practices for accessing online archives, and your questions/concerns about PDA/DDA plans.

And thanks to those who replied to the survey. I hope to pursue the other recommendations in small group sessions on Google Hangouts. More info to come after Annual.

Connection Breakfast and RUSA-HS All-Committee Meeting at ALA Annual

Will you be at ALA Annual in Orlando?  If so, please join us for a free breakfast at the RUSA-HS All-Committee meeting on Saturday, June 25 from 8:30 to 10 am.  The meeting will take place at the HYATT Regency Orlando, Room Celebration 05.

In addition to the standard features of the All-Committee meeting, we are starting a new initiative with the goal of connecting history librarians with each other.  
In particular, we are hoping to connect new history librarians (and those interested in history librarianship) with each other and with experienced history librarians.   
If you are interested in history librarianship or are new to the field of history librarianship, we hope that you can join us.  If so, please let us know that you are coming and a bit about your interests so that we can connect you with other professionals. 
If you are an experienced history librarian, it would be great if you would be willing to share your knowledge of the profession, ALA, RUSA, and/or the History Section.  (Just a reminder: "experienced" doesn't have to mean decades in the field--though it certainly could!)   Please volunteer to share your knowledge using this form:  ​​
Please feel free to share this information with anyone that has an interest in the History Section or history librarianship in general.  All are welcome!  
Don't forget to add the all-committee meeting and other RUSA-HS events to your mobile scheduler app or use the online scheduler system

Metadata discussion

During the History Librarians Discussion Group at Midwinter 2016, attendees were interested in learning more about the metadata standards used by different digital scholarship sites. Kara Long, Metadata and Catalog Librarian at Baylor University, has kindly composed an incredibly helpful piece for the History Section. She explains metadata and relates metadata to formats librarians will understand. Many thanks to Kara!


Connect with the History Section!

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Sign up for the history-l listserv.

If you are already a RUSA member, you can join the History Section at no additional cost. Just select the History Section when you are joining or renewing your ALA membership.