Herbert Feis Award
Established in 1984, this prize is offered annually to recognize distinguished contributions to public history. The prize is named in memory of Herbert Feis (1893–1972), public servant and historian of recent American foreign policy, with an initial endowment from the Rockefeller Foundation. The prize was originally given for books produced by historians working outside of academe. In 2006, the scope of the award was changed to emphasize significant contributions in the field of public history.
The terms of the award now define both “contribution” and “public history” broadly. Contributions could, for example, include work as the administrator of a public history group or agency (such as a historical society, a historic site, or a community history project) or as the creator or producer of a public history product or products (such as a museum exhibit, radio script, web site, oral history collection, or film). Often, the contribution will be the result of years of effort in the field, but the prize might also recognize a singular contribution of major importance such as a pathbreaking museum exhibit. Public history is defined as work primarily directed at non-academic, non-school-based audiences. Those audiences could be very broad (e.g., television viewers) or highly specialized (e.g., policymakers). Although the audience should be primarily outside of academia, the recipient of the award could be employed at a university.
Recipients will be selected from nominations(or self nominations). Each nomination packet should include the following:
- CV (no more than five pages)
- a statement of no more than five pages in length describing the individual's public history contribution
- up to 10 pages of appropriate supporting materials (e.g., letters of support, samples of exemplary products, e.g. exhibit scripts, interpretive plans, National Register Nominations, gray literature or policy papers, finding aids). Please note that books are no longer accepted as the sole basis for the award, though they can be cited as part of the nominee's contribution to the field of public history.
The nomination packages of those who do not receive the award will be kept on file for five years. The nominator may submit an update, if they wish.
One set of the nomination materials must be received by each of the following committee members. A copy should also be sent to: Attn. Feis Prize, American Historical Association, 400 A St. SE, Washington, DC 20003. Nominations must be postmarked by or on MAY 15, 2014, to be considered for the 2014 prize. Nomination materials will not be returned. Nominations without all the required documents will not be considered.
Contact information for judges will be posted by March 30, 2014.
Please Note: The deadline for submission of entries is Thursday, May 15, 2014. Entries will not be returned. Recipients will be announced at the January 2–5, 2015, AHA annual meeting in New York City.
Important! Each entry must be clearly labeled “Feis Award Entry.”
For questions, please contact the Book Prize Administrator, or write to the AHA at the following address (please note that prize entries are not mailed to the AHA; rather, to committee members): American Historical Association, 400 A St. SE, Washington, DC 20003-3889.