NCPH Book Award

A $1,000 award for the best book about or growing out of public history published within the previous two calendar years (2015 and 2016).

2018 Winner

Andrew G. Kirk, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Doom Towns: The People and Landscapes of Atomic Testing, A Graphic History (Oxford University Press, 2017)

2018 Honorable Mention

Ronald Rudin, Concordia University, Kouchibouguac: Removal, Resistance, and Remembrance at a Canadian National Park (University of Toronto Press, 2016)


The National Council on Public History invites nominations for its annual award for the best published book in public history. The Council seeks works about or growing out of public history theory, study, or practice, or that have compelling implications for the same. Books “growing out of” public history include, but are not limited to, exhibition catalogs,  policy studies, and monographs that have a clear public dimension. Whether about or growing out of public history, successful contenders will clearly display the public aspects of their conception, development, and execution, and how they illuminate issues and concerns significant to audiences beyond the academy.

The NCPH Book Award consists of a $1,000 cash prize and a certificate, both presented at the NCPH Annual Meeting. (2018 awards will be presented in Las Vegas, NV) The award winner receives complimentary registration for the awards breakfast.

*2019 submission guidelines will be posted in August of 2018.


To be eligible for consideration, a book must have been published within the previous two calendar years (2016 and 2017). Entries may be monographs, edited collections of articles or essays, or any other published work of comparable scope. Singly and jointly authored/edited works are welcome, as are international topics.

Award Criteria

Criteria for selection include:

  1. Excellence and thoroughness of research
  2. Style and appropriateness of presentation
  3. Suitability and rigor of methodology
  4. Contribution to advancing the field of public history

(These four criterion receive equal weight in the book award committee’s discussions.)

Submission Process

Please send a copy of the book and this cover sheet (click for form), along with a brief curriculum vitae or resume for each author/editor, to each of the Book Award Committee members (click link for addresses) and one to the NCPH executive office at:

NCPH Book Award 2019
127 Cavanaugh Hall – IUPUI
425 University Blvd.
Indianapolis, IN 46202-5148

Submissions must be received (not postmarked) no later than November 1, 2018.  Please note that materials will not be returned.*

Questions?  [email protected]; (317) 274-2716

A challenge grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities makes possible our expanding awards program and other uses of earned income on the NCPH endowment. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this website do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.


Past Book Award Winners

  • The Stages of Memory: Reflections on Memorial Art, Loss, and the Spaces Between, by James E. Young, University of Massachusetts Amherst (University of Massachusetts Press, 2016)
    • Honorable Mention- Interpreting Food at Museums and Historic Sites, by Michelle Moon, Newark Museum (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2016)
  • Interpreting LGBT History at Museums and Historic Sites, by Susan Ferentinos, Public History Consultant (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2014)
    • Honorable Mention- “History is Bunk”: Assembling the Past at Henry Ford’s Greenfield Village, by Jessie Swigger, Western Carolina University (The University of Massachusetts Press, 2014)
  • From Storefront to Monument: Tracing the Public History of the Black Museum Movement, by Andrea A. Burns, Appalachian State University (University of Massachusetts Press, 2013)
    • Honorable Mention- Alice Morse Earle and the Domestic History of Early America, by Susan Reynolds Williams, Fitchburg State College (University of Massachusetts Press, 2013)
  • History’s Babel: Scholarship, Professionalization, and the Historical Enterprise in the United States, 1880-1940, by Robert Townsend, American Academy of Arts and Sciences (University of Chicago Press, 2013)
    • Honorable Mention- Who Owns American’s Past? The Smithsonian and the Problem of History, by Robert C. Post, Curator Emeritus, National Museum of American History (The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013)
  • Museums, Monuments, and National Parks: Toward a New Genealogy of Public History, by Denise Meringolo of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2012)
    • Honorable Mention- Remembering the Forgotten War: The Enduring Legacies of the U.S.-Mexican War, by Michael Scott Van Wagenen of Georgia Southern University (Amherst, University of Massachusetts Press, 2012)
  • Beyond Preservation: Using Public History to Revitalize Inner Cities, by Andrew Hurley of the University of Missouri – St. Louis (Temple University Press, 2010)
  • The House on Diamond Hill: A Cherokee Plantation Story, by Tiya Miles of the University of Michigan (The University of North Carolina Press, 2010)
    • Honorable Mention-  Those About Him Remained Silent: The Battle Over W.E.B. Du Bois, by Amy Bass of the The College of New Rochelle (University of Minnesota Press, 2009)
    • Honarble Mention- Voices from the Back Stairs: Interpreting Servants’ Lives at Historic House Museums, by Jennifer Pustz of the University of Iowa (Northern Illinois University Press, 2010)
  • Remembering and Forgetting in Acadie: A Historian’s Journey through Public Memory, by Ronald Rudin (University of Toronto Press, 2009) Companion Website:
  • Massacre at Camp Grant: Forgetting and Remembering Apache History, by Chip Colwell-Chanthaphonh (University of Arizona Press, 2007)
    • Honorable Mention-Consuming History:  Historians and Heritage in Contemporary Popular Culture, by Jerome de Groot (Routledge, 2009)
  • Haunted by Waters:A Journey through Race and Place in the American West, by Robert Hayashi (University of Iowa Press, 2007)
    • Honorable Mention- Slavery and Public History: The Tough Stuff of American Memory, by  James Oliver Horton and Lois E. Horton, eds.(The New Press, New York, NY)
  • The Lowell Experiment: Public History in a Postindustrial City, by Cathy Stanton (University of Massachusetts Press, 2006)
  • Road, River, and Ol’ Boy Politics: A Texas County’s Path from Farm to Supersuburb, by Linda Scarbrough (Texas State Historical Assocaition, 2005)

First year presented

  • History after Apartheid: Visual Culture and Public Memory in a Democratic South Africa, by Annie E. Coombes, (University of London, 2003)