Submissions Are Closed

Award Type


The First Books Program was designed to provide younger historians with publication outlets in an effort to overcome the high cost of publishing and other pressures on junior faculty members. The program was created by a committee consisting of Lewis Hanke, David Horne (then director of the Univ. Press of New England), Nancy Roelker, and Paul Schroeder. It was inaugurated in 1975 in collaboration with the American Association of Univ. Presses and administered by the Research Division. The program was opened to entries in 1977, when 11 manuscripts were received but none recommended for publication. The quality of submissions was still low in 1978, and the program was overhauled for the 1979–80 competition. In that year, 22 manuscripts were received, of which two were recommended for publication. The following year saw 11 more manuscripts entered, one of which was subsequently published. For the next two years, seven and four entries were received, none of which were published. In December 1982, Council voted to terminate the program on the basis that it had not proved a particularly useful way of getting manuscripts published, judges had been hard to secure, and historians were finding other publication outlets.