Herbert Feis Award

The submission deadline has passed. Awardees are announced in the fall, and the next contest will begin in the spring.

Herbert FeisEstablished in 1984, this prize is offered annually to recognize distinguished contributions to public history, broadly defined. 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 current prize amount is $1,000. See the list of past recipients.

Eligibility

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 historians.org/myaha and click “Available Application Forms” in the AHA Awards, Grants, and Jobs section. 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 each 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, 2022, to be eligible for the 2022 competition. Entries will not be returned. Recipients will be announced on the AHA website in October 2022 and recognized during a ceremony at the January 2023 AHA annual meeting in Philadelphia.

For questions, please contact the Prize Administrator.