Submissions Are Closed

Deadline: May 15, 2024

Award Type

Award for Scholarly and Professional Distinction

Established in 1984, Tthe Herbert Feis Award is offered annually to recognize distinguished contributions to public history, broadly defined.

The current prize amount is $1,000.



Individuals and collaborative groups are eligible to apply. 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(s) of the award could be employed at a university.

Application Process

Log into your MY AHA account at and click “Available Application Forms” in the AHA Awards, Grants, and Jobs section. If you don’t have an account, create one for free at If nominating someone else, select the Nominate button and search for the nominee’s existing record or create a new record. (For a group nomination, select one person to be the main nominee and include other names later.)

  1. Fill in the application form, which includes the nominee’s contact information and the names of additional nominees (if group nomination).
  2. Upload an Application Packet as a single PDF. Include the following documents:
    • Nomination letter describing the individual’s or group’s public history contribution
    • CV (up to 5 pages) for an individual nominee
    • Supporting materials (up to 10 pages). These could be letters of support, exhibit scripts, interpretive plans, National Register nominations, gray literature or policy papers, or finding aids. Please note that books are not 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.

Nominees not selected in previous years may resubmit with updates.

Please Note: Entries must be received by May 15, 2024, to be eligible for the 2024 competition. Entries will not be returned. Recipients will be announced on the AHA website in October 2024 and recognized during a ceremony at the January 2025 AHA annual meeting in New York.

For questions, please contact the Prize Administrator.

Herbert Feis
Herbert Feis

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. He was the advisor on international economic affairs in the US Department of State during the Herbert Hoover and Franklin Roosevelt administrations. Feis won the Pulitzer Prize for History in 1961 for Between War and Peace: The Potsdam Conference.