Publication Date

May 14, 2012


Public History

The American Historical Association invites nominations for the Herbert Feis Award for distinguished contributions to public history. Public historians are welcome to nominate themselves or their colleagues.

The terms of the award 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, website, 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 path-breaking museum exhibit.

Public history is defined as work primarily directed at nonacademic, 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.

At the suggestion of the selection committee, the prize description has been expanded to widen eligibility beyond “the last ten years”; reiterates and makes more explicit that this is a prize for service, not books; to request more specific examples of contributions to the field; and to emphasize that the contributions should be of more than local significance.

Because there was a delay in appointing the committee, the application deadline has been extended until August 1, 2012. See the prize announcement for more details and instructions on how to apply.

This post first appeared on AHA Today.

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