History Section: Committees

Executive Committee

The Executive Committee provides leadership, coordination, and direction for the Section and acts for and by the authority of the Section during the period between meetings of the Section.


  • Build and support membership across all aspects of history librarianship, academic, genealogy and local history librarians, and archivists
  • Explore online educational opportunities through our new adhoc Webinar committee

ABC-CLIO Online History Award Committee

The Committee administers a bi-annual award that recognizes the accomplishments of a person or a group of people producing (1) a freely available online historical collection, or (2) an online tool tailored for the purpose of finding historical materials, or (3) an online teaching aid stimulating creative historical scholarship.


The award seeks to encourage the development of freely available, sustainable online history resources by singling out innovative projects and the individuals who created them. Projects shall have been completed (or, in the case of a regularly updated database, well established) in the two years prior to nomination and serve as a model for broader emulation. 

Communications Committee

The committee manages the section’s media outlets (including the web site, listserv, social media, and contributions to RUSA Update), promotes the Section’s activities and initiatives, and advises on other communication-related issues.


  • Increase communication and engagement over the History Section listserv, Facebook page, and Twitter
  • Post to listserv, Facebook, and Twitter at least once a week
  • The History Section currently has about 401 listserv subscribers, 212 "likes" on Facebook and 203 Twitter followers as of December of 2015; we would like to increase the number of subscribers/followers by at least 20%
  • Explore feasibility of starting a Communication Section Blog

Gale Cengage History Research and Innovation Award Committee 

The committee administers a $2,500 award granted to an MLS degreed librarian from an ALA accredited school to facilitate and further research relating to history and history librarianship.

Genealogical Publishing Company Award Committee

The Committee administers an annual award of $1,500 to a librarian, library, or publisher to encourage, recognize, and commend professional achievement in historical reference and research librarianship. The recipient must be a RUSA member and shall be selected for exceptional accomplishment related to bibliography, book reviewing, indexing, professional association leadership, programs, and training.


  • Evaluate and standardize the language of the Award in all published places.
  • Seek individuals as recipients.

Genealogy Committee

The Genealogy Committee provides a forum serving the interests of librarians whose work is in or related to the field of genealogy. Committee members represent large and small genealogical collections in public, special, university and society libraries. Its objective is to train and assist librarians serving genealogists.


Review of Guidelines:

  • Guidelines for a Unit or Course of Instruction in Genealogical Research  at Schools of Library and Information Science
  • Guidelines for Developing a Core Genealogy Collection  

Genealogy Preconference Planning Committee

The Committee plans and coordinates the annual genealogy preconference program.


  • Planning the Genealogy Pre-conference.
  • Growing the audience for the pre-conference including expanding the academic librarian audience. 

Historical Materials Committee

The Committee seeks to improve the usefulness of bibliographies and indexes in the field of history through the evaluation both of specific publications and the pattern and effectivenss of coverage in all fields of history. Each year the Committee compiles and publishes its “Best Historical Materials” in RQ. In addition, the Committee promotes enhanced availability of historical works and information and serves as a liaison among bibliographers, indexers, publishers, and professional associations.

Instruction and Research Services Committee

The Instruction and Research Services Committee provides resources for librarians who engage in instruction and research service in the field of history. It is charged with creating and disseminating guidelines and tools to assist with instruction, reference services, and collection development. The Committee also seeks to promote communication among librarians, students, faculty, and organizations with an interest in history instruction and research, regardless of geographic or chronological specialty.


  • Complete the Directory for Primary Resources in U.S. History. This is a first attempt at creating other pages to list important primary source collections by subject.
  • Explore presenting a webinar on the Committee’s “Information Literacy Standards and Competencies for Undergraduate History Students."
  • Improve exchange of ideas about instruction and Information Literacy practices among history bibliographers.

Local History Committee

The Committee offers an opportunity to discuss issues and concerns related to the management of local history services and collections. Activites include writing guidelines that address services, collections, and preservation of local history materials. Programs sponsored by the Committee include newspaper indexing, house histories, and the care of photography collections.


  • Developing a finding aid or other cataloging tool that will provide information on genealogy and local history books, oral and photo histories, and other similar materials which have been self-published by individuals or by small local or vanity publishers.  

Nominating Committee

The Committee identifies a slate of candidates for History Section offices.