Message from the Chair


The History Section, with the sponsorship of ProQuest, offered a free genealogy preconference at the Midwinter in Dallas, Texas. Speakers included Lloyd Bockstruck, retired librarian from the Dallas Public Library, Aaron Holt of the National Archives, Sue Kaufman of the Clayton Library in Houston, Texas, Ari Wilkins of the Dallas Public Library, and Bill Forsyth of ProQuest. Plans are underway for another free preconference at the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim. We hope many will plan to attend this June 22, 2012, event.

The History Section program at the ALA Annual Conference will be entitled, “Mining Gold From the 1940 Census. The opening of the 1940 census for public view on April 2, 2012, will be unlike any other. This census is being offered in digital content only. Joel Weintrub of the National Archives and Records Administration will speak about the impact of this census which documents the Greatest Generation on the brink of war. A panel discussion will follow by representatives of vendors who will host the 1940 census images. They will discuss what their individual companies are doing to index the census records.

The History Librarians Discussion Group, monitored by Heather Tompkins, had twenty-eight in attendance at the Midwinter meeting. There was a mix of public, academic, and special librarians, as well as two students and some vendors. The discussion focused around the issues and challenges of providing access to the kinds of sources people use when researching public history topics. They also explored some of the challenges of teaching the complexities of public history. The discussion ended with some thoughts about the definitions of public history and some thoughts about the perceptions of public history as a discipline.

The Local History Committee has revised Guidelines for Establishing Local History Collections. The RUSA Standards and Guidelines Committee has reviewed the document and when the recommended changes are made it will proceed again to the committee before it is brought before the RUSA Executive Board at the Annual Conference.

A new History Section award will be announced at the RUSA Awards Program at the 2012 Annual Conference.

Sara Morris, History Section Vice-Chair is making appointments now for those who would like to be involved in committee work for the History Section. Please fill out the volunteer form on the RUSA website if you would like to volunteer.

Janice Schultz
History Section Chair