RUSA Announces Best Historical Materials List

The Historical Materials Committee of the Reference and User Services Association’s (RUSA) History Section has selected the 2021 Best Historical Materials. This list recognizes the effectiveness in coverage of historical resources in all fields of history and promotes enhanced availability of historical works and information. These sources are selected by the Historical Materials committee of RUSA’s History Section, which seeks to improve the usefulness of bibliographies and indexes in the field of history and shared among bibliographers, indexers, publishers and professional associations.

The 2021 Winners are:

Caseidyneën Saën – Learning Together: Colonial Valley Zapotec Teaching MaterialsEdited by Xóchitl Flores-Marcial, Moisés García Guzmán, Felipe H. Lopez, George Aaron Broadwell, Alejandra Dubcovsky, May Helena Plumb, Mike Zarafonetis, and Brook Danielle Lillehaugen. 2021. Open access.

The Complete Writings and Selected Correspondence of John Dickinson. Edited by Jane E. Calvert. Vol. 1. Newark: University of Delaware Press, 2020. 528 pp. $45 hardcover (ISBN: 9781644531839). $45 e-book (ISBN: 9781644531846).

Defining Documents in American History: U.S. Involvement in the Middle East. Edited by Michael Shally-Jensen. Ipswich, MA: Salem Press, 2020. 2 vols. 600 pp. $295 hardcover (ISBN: 9781642653977).

Documents of the Harlem Renaissance. Edited by Thomas J. Davis and Brenda M. Brock. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2021. 243 pp. $97 hardcover (ISBN: 9781440855566).

The Letters & Charters of Henry II, King of England, 1154-1189. Edited by Nicholas Vincent. New York: Oxford University Press, 2021. 7 vols. 4225 pp. $125 hardcover per vol. (ISBN: 9780198738213).

Muhammad and the Empires of Faith: The Making of the Prophet of Islam. Written by Sean W. Anthony. Oakland: University of California Press, 2020. 304 pp. $32.95 hardcover (ISBN: 9780520340411). $32.95 e-book (ISBN: 9780520974524).

Navigating the Old English Poor Law: the Kirkby Lonsdale Letters, 1809-1836. Edited by Peter Jones and Steven King. Oxford: Published for the British Academy by Oxford University Press, 2021. 400 pp. $130 hardcover (ISBN: 9780197266816).

Reading Russian Sources: A Student’s Guide to Text and Visual Sources from Russian History. Edited by George Gilbert. New York: Routledge, 2020. 284 pp. $160 hardcover (ISBN: 9780815394969).

Reconstructing the Landscapes of Slavery: A Visual History of the Plantation in the Nineteenth-Century Atlantic World. Written by Dale W. Tomich, Reinaldo Funes Monzote, Carlos Venegas Fornias, and Rafael de Bivar Marquese. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2021. 176 pp. $29.95 paperback (ISBN: 9781469663128). $95 hardcover (ISBN: 9781469663111). $24.99 e-book (ISBN: 9781469663135).

The Red Vienna Sourcebook. Edited by Rob McFarland, Georg Spitaler, and Ingo Zechner. Rochester, NY: Camden House, 2020. 773 pp. $49.95 paperback (ISBN: 9781640140677). $120 hardcover (ISBN: 9781571133557). $24.99 e-book (ISBN: 9781787446106).

Roma Voices in History. Edited by Elena Marushiakova and Vesselin Popov. Leiden; Boston: Brill, 2021. 1068 pp. $170 hardcover (9783506705181). Open access e-book (ISBN: 9783657705184).

The Spanish Pacific, 1521-1815: A Reader of Primary Sources. Edited by Christina H. Lee and Ricardo Padrón. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2020. 249 pp. $120 hardcover (ISBN: 9789463720649).

Full annotations and additional information may be found here.

The Committee includes Jennifer Brannock, The University of Southern Mississippi, chair; Scott P. Libson, Indiana University Bloomington, vice-chair; Steven A. Knowlton, Princeton University; Rebecca Ann Lloyd, Temple University; Sarah Meisch-Lacombe, SUNY Delhi; Kathryn New, Mississippi State University.

The Reference and User Services Association (RUSA), a division of the American Library Association, represents librarians and library staff in the fields of reference, specialized reference, collection development, readers’ advisory and resource sharing. 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. Learn more at