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Robert Kelley Memorial Award

This award seeks to perpetuate the legacy and memory of a founder of the public history movement, Dr. Robert Kelley. It honors distinguished and outstanding achievements by individuals, institutions, non-profit or corporate entities for having made significant inroads in making history relevant to individual lives of ordinary people outside of academia.

awards robert kelley The Kelley Award consists of a $500 cash award and framed certificate that will be presented at the annual meeting of NCPH.  The award recipient will receive a complimentary registration for the awards breakfast at the 2015 NCPH annual meeting in Nashville, Tennessee, April 15-18.

Individuals or organizational entities may be considered for the award.

a) Individuals may be nominated based on their achievements and specific contributions to the public history movement, usually over a sustained period of time.

Evidence of scholarly excellence must be combined with two or more of the following: (1) sustained service to NCPH in an appointed and/or elected capacity; (2) demonstrated innovation in teaching and/or development of institutional training programs; (3) creativity as evidenced through the development of teaching and/or educational outreach materials; (4) a singular achievement (i.e. a motion picture, major exhibit, or a well-recognized book) that significantly contributes to the general public’s understanding and appreciation of history; and/or (5) a distinguished record of creating, administering, or managing an undergraduate or graduate public history program at an institution of learning.

b) Institutions, colleges and university departments of history, non-profit, corporate or other organizational entities may be nominated based on the institution’s achievements and specific contributions in advancing the cause of public history, usually over a sustained period of time.

Evidence of program excellence must be combined with two or more of the following in evaluating the contribution of each nominated institution: (1) innovative excellence in the training of public historians (either at the undergraduate or graduate level) as evidenced by a quality public history curriculum and/or success in placement and accomplishments of graduates in public history related jobs; (2) sustained commitment to the development of scholarly or other educational or teaching materials relating to the field of public history; (3) sponsorship and/or delivery of high quality training courses, conferences, or educational outreach to the public or the public history community; (4) an outstanding record of public outreach programs (i.e. mass media, exhibitory, lecture series) that advance the appreciation of public history; and (5) demonstrated commitment to the value of expanding the public’s knowledge and appreciation of history in the institutional or corporate setting.

Procedures and Submission Requirements

1. Nominations should be submitted in the form of a written narrative not to exceed 1,500 words (typed).

2. Nominations should include pertinent supporting documents, including a copy of the nominee’s resume or curriculum vitae if available, plus a minimum of two and a maximum of five letters of support and a cover sheet.

3.  A total of four copies of all submission materials are required. Send a cover sheet and a copy of all materials to each of the Kelley Award Committee members and one to the NCPH execuitve office at:  NCPH, 127 Cavanaugh Hall – IUPUI, 425 University Blvd., Indianapolis, IN 46202.  Clearly mark each submission, “NCPH Kelley Award.”  If emailed, nominations must be sent in one complete document (MS Word or a PDF).  Please note that materials will not be returned.

Materials must be received (not postmarked) no later than November 1, 2014.  Late submissions will not be considered.

Questions?  (317) 274-2716;

Past Award Winners

2014-Michael Devine, Director, Harry S. Truman Library and Museum

2012-Lindsey Reed, Managing Editor of The Public Historian

2010-Richard Allan Baker, United States Senate Historical Office

2008-Alan S. Newell, Historical Research Associates, Inc.

2006-Dwight T. Pitcaithley, National Park Service

2004-The Government and Citizens of the Tr’ondek Hwech’in, First Native Peoples of the Klondike

2002-The University of South Carolina Public History Program

2001-Debra Bernhardt, Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives at New York University

1999-Otis L.Graham Jr., University of North Carolina, Wilmington

1998-The American Social History ProjectFirst time presented in

1997 to Page Putnam Miller, Coordinating Committee for the Promotion of History

Most Recent Winner

The recipient of the 2014 Robert Kelley Memorial Award is Dr. Michael J. Devine, whose forty-year career exemplifies the legacy of Dr. Robert Kelley—outstanding achievement in making history relevant to individuals outside of academia.

As the nominees wrote, “Mike has played a central role in directing lasting advances in public history institutions in Ohio, Maryland, Illinois, and Wyoming.” And along the way, he has held teaching position at more than six universities; served twice as a Senior Fulbright Lecturer in American Studies; and written or edited six books on diplomacy and foreign affairs.

Since 2001, he has continued this legacy of institutional and educational leadership as director of the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum in Independence, Missouri. Under his direction, the Truman Library completed a $20 million renovation of its museum galleries and raised $1.3 million for an addition to President Truman’s Working Office, and became a model for its public education partnerships among the thirteen federal presidential libraries. These partnerships have reached local, national, and international audiences.

In addition to his role as an institutional leader, educator, and scholar, Michael Devine has been a tireless ambassador for public history. He served on the board of directors of the National Council on Public History and as president in 1999-2000. Today, he is the treasurer of the steering committee for the International Federations for Public History and is working to bring more Asian historians into the field of public history.

The NCPH is proud to recognize Dr. Devine with the 2014 Robert Kelley Memorial Award.