NCPH awards recognize excellence in the diverse ways public historians apply their skills to the world around us. The purpose of the award program is to promote professionalism and best practices among public historians and to raise awareness about their activities. Awards are presented to recipients during the annual meeting.
A challenge grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities makes possible our expanding awards program. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this website do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Click for a list of 2023 award winners
Guidelines and current and past recipients are listed on each award page.
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 (2022 and 2023).
OUTSTANDING PUBLIC HISTORY PROJECT AWARD
Two $750 awards recognizing projects–digital, print, film, exhibit, etc.–that contribute to a broader public reflection and appreciation of the past or that serve as a model of professional public history practice. One will go to a larger institution (6 or more paid staff) and the other to a smaller institution (5 or fewer paid staff).
NCPH Grassroots Public History Award
A $750 award recognizing an individual or community organization doing important public history work in their community.
G. WESLEY JOHNSON AWARD
A $750 award for the best article in The Public Historian for the 2023 calendar year.
EXCELLENCE IN CONSULTING AWARD
Up to two (2) $500 awards recognize outstanding work and contributions by consultants or contractors.
NEW PROFESSIONAL AWARD
Two $500 travel grants to encourage new professionals, practicing public history for no more than three years, to attend the 2024 Annual Meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah.
NCPH FOUNDERS AWARD
The NCPH Founders Award recognizes those individuals who were present at the creation of NCPH and who played critical roles in the organization’s success.
NCPH Board of Directors Award for Extraordinary Service
The Board of Directors Award for Extraordinary Service is given when the NCPH Board seeks to recognize publicly an individual who has, through long-term and substantive effort, made transformational contributions to the work of NCPH.
ROBERT KELLEY MEMORIAL AWARD
This $500 award honors distinguished achievements by individuals, institutions, or nonprofit or corporate entities for making history relevant to the lives of ordinary people outside of academia.
MICHAEL C. ROBINSON PRIZE FOR HISTORICAL ANALYSIS
A $500 cash award and a certificate, rewarding historical studies that contribute directly to the formation of public policy.
STUDENT PROJECT AWARD
The $500 travel grant to attend the 2024 Annual Meeting recognizes the contributions of student work to the field of public history.
GRADUATE STUDENT TRAVEL AWARD
Five travel grants of up to $300 each for graduate students presenting (session, poster session, or working group) at the 2024 Annual Meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah.