Executive Committee Minutes

Midwinter 2001 - Washington DC
January 13 and 16, 2001

13 January 2001


Nancy Huling, Carla Rickerson, Martha Henderson, Ruth Carr, David L. Langenberg, Ann Reinert, Jim Niessen, Curt Witcher, Marilyn Carbonell, Nancy Godleski, Phoebe Janes, Theresa Mudrock

Curt Witcher, History Section Chair, called the meeting to order at 8:06.


The minutes for the July 8 and July 11, 2000 were approved.

Committee Announcements:

  • Bibliographies & Indexes - will be choosing items for the Best Bibliographies in History and discuss Atlanta program.
  • Genealogical Committee - will report at the Tuesday meeting.
  • Local History - change of venue to the Historical Society of Washington DC at Mt. Vernon Square.
  • Genealogy and Local History Discussion Group - will be meeting at 9:30 rather than the 10:00 am posted in the conference schedule.
  • Historical Events - will meet on Sunday with four new members and discuss change of focus for the committee.
  • History Librarians Discussion Group - the topic for the midwinter meeting is remote storage for history collections.
  • Nominating Committee - have a roster of candidates for open positions.

RUSA Committee Announcements:

  • Access to Information - has busy agenda for the day.
  • Membership - needs a History Section representative. Does the History Section need its own membership committee?
  • Organization - will be going over survey results.
  • Publications - will be interviewing three candidates for newsletter editor. Committee will also discuss whether or not to go to electronic only for RUSA Update. No support on the committee for compiling past bibliographies created by the Bibliography & Indexes Committee. Instead the committee could possibly post the titles on H-HistBibl list.
  • Standards & Guidelines - History Section has the most the most guidelines in limbo: two should have been reviewed in 1999 and 2000; a 3rd has been in development for years and probably should be dropped.

Other Announcements:

  • Section brochure and web page will be discussed at Tuesday's meeting.
  • RUSA Update deadline is 15 February 2001.
  • The History Section Dinner sign-up circulated.
  • Draft of the History of the History Section is now ready. Anticipate that it will be complete in April and run approximately 70 pages. An electronic format will be sent to the webmaster to put up on the Section's webpage. Further discussion of the History postponed until the Tuesday meeting.
  • Genealogy preconference lost sponsorship of MyFamily.com. Will work to mend relations with the publisher.


  • 40th anniversary party - discussion of using RUDAS awards as venue, or at least announce at the RUSA award meeting. Perhaps anniversary should be marked at the History Section program with a cake. May be possible to approach MyFamily.com for sponsorship.
  • Ideas about a new committee for academic librarians within the section will be discussed on Tuesday.

Meeting adjourned at 8:50.

16 January 2001


Nancy Huling, Carla Rickerson, Martha Henderson, Ruth Carr, David L. Langenberg, Ann Reinert, Jim Niessen, Curt Witcher, Tom Kemp, Ed Frank, Nancy Godleski, Phoebe Janes, Theresa Mudrock

Curt Witcher, History Section Chair, called the meeting to order at 8:06.

Committee Reports:

  • Bibliographies & Indexes - met for three hours and selected 11 books to be reviewed; have not gotten a publishing deadline from RUSQ.
  • Genealogical Publishing Company Award - met and chose a recipient; committee is attempting to get more publicity for the award and thereby get more nominees. The Genealogical Publishing Company increased the amount of the award to $1500.
  • Genealogy and Local History Discussion Group - The GLH Discussion Group met at the Washingtoniana Division of the ML King Library. Elizabeth Van Tuyl Asst. Archivist, Historical Collections at the Bridgeport Public Library CT) presented their website "Bridgeport Working: Voices of the 20th Century" [http://www.bridgeporthistory.org/]. This was followed with a behind the scenes tour of the Library's holdings by S. Malbin. The GLH Discussion Group meeting in San Francisco is expected to focus on genealogical records from the San Francisco Earthquake.
  • Genealogy Committee -- The Committee meetings were well attended. Membership has been expanded from 8 to 25 members with a plan to expand the committee even further. Discussion centered on the success of the preconference and new features as well as an online tutorial. It was voted unanimously to begin naming honorary Counselors to the Genealogy Committee. Those named would be recognized for their significant service to the Committee and to the field. The discussion concluded that those named would be currently living, retired librarians who had served the Committee for more than 10 years, and had rendered significant service in the form of publications, indexes or similar accomplishments. The first group of honorary Counselors is Gunther Pohl, Bill Filby and Carlyle Parker.
  • Historical Events - committee wishes to officially change the committee's charge from creating a bibliography on an historical event to creating a web-based chronology of upcoming events. The change in charge needs to be passed by the Executive Committee and by the RUSA Organization Committee.
  • History Librarian's Discussion Group - the topic was the "Remote Storage of Physical Collections for History." 34 attended and discussion was lively. Two people volunteered to take over the discussion in the future but they need to be RUSA members. Possible topics for the next discussion (2002) include: canceling print for electronic journals; how publishers selected collections to digitize; and preservation issues.
  • Local History - met at the History Society of Washington, DC at Old Carnegie Library. The Director of the society spoke about the history and functions of the society and gave a tour of the premises. A new facility is due to open in spring of 2003. No one volunteered to revise outstanding guidelines. M. McNabb is still working on the guidelines dealing with reprinting local histories.
  • Nominating - L. Vyhnanek will be the section's representative on the RUSA Nominating Committee.

RUSA Committee Reports:

  • Access to Information - ALA approved the report of the Taskforce on Privacy and Confidentiality in the Electronic Environment [http://www.lita.org/docs/privcon/report.html] . Other draft statements under discussion include those dealing with violence in the media; free access to libraries and library resources for people with disabilities; and intellectual freedom competency standards.
  • Conference Program Coordinating - genealogy preconference for 2002 approved; program requests for 2002 due at annual; C. Rickerson is incoming chair of this committee.
  • Membership - History Section needs to appoint a representative to this committee.
  • Organization - Discussed a number of issues concerning ways to increase membership including: enlarging the charge of the Membership Committee; the survey results (major reason given for not joining RUSA is cost of second divisional membership); creation of a divisional level discussion group for generalists and a discussion group for new reference librarians. The Professional Development Committee will establish Taskforce on Reference Competencies.
  • Planning & Finance - preconferences are bringing in needed funds, the RUSA reserve is currently over the limit and RUSA is soliciting ideas to use some of this money for new initiatives.
  • Publications - RUSA publications, on the other hand, is running a deficit of approximately $10,000. In order to cover this deficit the committee is looking at RUSA Update. Possible ways to save money with RUSA Update include: electronic only, shorten the print, or cease publication. A new editor, Suzanne Sweeney, has been appointed.
  • Standards and Guidelines - committee approved the International Interlibrary Loan Code and discussed various guidelines including ones for preparation of bibliographies, electronic reference and medical, legal and business service points.


  • Program Planning -- Why isn't there a separate program planning committee? In the current committee descriptions no mention is made that responsibility for program planning rotates among committees. A new committee devoted to program planning may bring in new membership. The committee will discuss this option further at the annual meeting. This year the Bibliography & Indexes committee is responsible for the annual program. This is difficult because, unlike some committees, B&I cannot devote itself entirely to planning but must concentrate on producing the "Best Bibliographies in History" list. In addition topics suitable for the Bibliography & Indexes committee are more difficult to find. A suggestion was made that a joint program with the Association for the Bibliography of History or Society of American Archivists be explored.
  • History of the History Section - some discussion about reviewing and possibly making additions to the draft history. However motion passed to simply publish the History of the History Section with no further editorial overview. Print copies of the History will be distributed to interested members and an electronic version put up on the section's webpage.
  • 40th Anniversary - the party has been dropped in favor of a more sedate celebration, perhaps cake and coffee at the section's program. J. Niessen will approach ABC-CLIO for sponsorship. A. Reinert will approach Ancestory.com to sponsor printing the History of the History Section which will be available at the program.
  • Academic Library Committee - J. Niessen prepared a discussion paper concerning the creation of a committee within the History Section to address the needs of academic librarians. Possible topics for this committee include library instruction and web source evaluation ("best websites in history"). J. Niessen will solicit further input on this new committee via e-mail this spring.
  • Section Webmaster - a decision on some procedure for selecting a webmaster will be made at the annual meeting in San Francisco. Some possibilities are: include webmaster duties as part of the secretary's responsibilities; ask for a volunteer to begin at midwinter 2002; include webmaster duties as part of the member-at-large's responsibilities.
  • History Section Listserv - currently 951 members in the section and a listserv will enhance communication. N. Huling will speak with D. Vicha about the mechanics of setting up a section listserv.

Meeting adjourned at 11:01.