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USM’s Brannock Honored by Reference and User Services Association

Wed, 05/13/2020 - 08:45am | By: David Tisdale

Jennifer BrannockJennifer Brannock, professor and curator of Rare Books & Mississippiana at The University of Southern Mississippi (USM), has been selected the 2020 recipient of the Reference and User Services Association’s (RUSA) History Section’s Genealogy/History Achievement Award.

Established in 1992 and sponsored by ProQuest, the RUSA Genealogy/History Achievement Award includes a citation and $1,500 to a librarian, library or publisher, in recognition of professional achievement in historical or genealogical reference, service, or research librarianship. Recipients are recognized for exceptional accomplishment in one or more of the following areas: leadership; service; training; reference; or publication of recent, significant print or digital reference works/projects offering access to genealogical or historical sources.

Brannock was cited by RUSA for her expansion of the usage of academic archival materials for professional and family historians, and for her knowledge of the historical value of archival materials. In particular, the organization noted that her Culinary Collection (cookbooks) project is “a marvelous example of bringing together academic users and the community.”

“I’m absolutely thrilled and shocked to receive this award from RUSA,” Brannock said. “In a time when we’re all working so hard, it’s a delight to be recognized with this honor.”

USM history professor Dr. Andrew Haley nominated Brannock for the award. Brannock and Dr. Haley collaborate on the Mississippi Community Cookbook Project, as well as the Culinary Collection.

“There are hidden treasures in Special Collections at USM, and all you need is a map to discover the rich history of our university, region, and state,” said Dr. Haley. “With her encyclopedic knowledge of the collection, Jennifer Brannock provides the treasure map. Our faculty and students, as well as the researchers from across the country who visit our archives, are fortunate to have such a knowledgeable guide.”

Other recognition for Brannock in the 2019-20 academic year Brannock includes the following:

*Digitizing and Transcribing Mississippi Community Cookbooks award, US/UK Network on Food and Digital Scholarship at The University of Sheffield and the Arts and Humanities Research Council, United Kingdom (£8,000/$10,459) (co-PI with Dr. Haley)

*Librarians Active Learning Archives & Special Collections Institute Scholarship, Dartmouth College ($575)

*2019 Gale Cengage Learning History Research and Innovation Award, Reference & User Services Association, American Library Association ($2,500)

For information about Special Collections at USM, visit