NCPH Outstanding Public History Project Awards

Two $750 awards recognizing projects–digital, print, film, exhibit, etc.–that contribute to a broader public reflection and appreciation of the past or that serves as a model of professional public history practice. One award will go to a Large Institution and the other to a Small Institution (defined below).

2024 Large Institution Winner

Identification and Evaluation of Georgia’s Historic Burial Grounds, Julie Coco, Mary Beth Reed, J.W. Joseph, and Hugh B. Matternes, New South Associates

2024 small Institution Winner

Rule N° 5: The Library Is A Growing Organism, Amanda Belantara and Ashley Maynor Alpin, New York University Libraries

2024 Honorable Mentions

The Historic Douglass High School Education & Development Campus, Loudoun County Public Schools & DHS-CC, Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners, Loudoun County Parks, and Recreation & Community Services

File/Life: We Remember Stories of Pennhurst, Lisa Sonneborn and Margery Sly, Temple University, Maria Teresa Rodriguez, Independent Media Artist, David Bradley, Independent Artist, Nicki Pombier, Columbia University, Biany Perez, Guiding Insights, LLC, Alex Catanese, Each + Every, Jonathan Atiencia, Delaware County Community College, Harold Gordon, Ramona Griffiths, Vision for Equality,  Cecelia and Jacob Lee, Danielle Moore, Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General, Frank Orr, City of Philadelphia, retired

2024 Submission Guidelines

Acknowledging the value of historical understanding to the general public, and the fact that this understanding results from a variety of public history projects, the National Council on Public History’s Outstanding Public History Project Awards recognize excellence in work completed within the previous two calendar years (2022 and 2023) that contribute to a broader public reflection and appreciation of the past or that serve as a model of professional public history practice. The annual Outstanding Public History Project Award was updated in 2021 to include a second award, so one is for a Large Institution and one for a Small Institution, defined roughly as having five or fewer paid staff and/or an operating budget of less than $250,000. Each award consists of a $750 cash prize and a certificate presented at the NCPH Annual Meeting (to be held in Salt Lake City, Utah, in 2024). Award winners also receive complimentary registration for the awards breakfast.


Projects–from digital to print, and from exhibits to brochures to films–by individuals, groups, community organizations, businesses, or other organizations or work done in support of such projects may be nominated. Individuals or organizational entities responsible for the project may nominate themselves, be nominated by others familiar with the project, or be nominated by the award selection committee itself. These projects include, but are not limited to, the following areas:

Media – webpages, web-based video, audio, blogs, documentaries, and films (DVD, etc.)

Exhibits – in museums, cultural centers, and other public venues

Public Programs – lecture series, walking tours, oral history projects, outreach activity, educational offerings, workshops, etc.

Written Works – research, reports, brochures, working papers, etc. or historical fiction (including books), that contribute to larger public history efforts to broaden public history understanding. *Please note that non-fiction books and journal articles are not eligible for this award.

Student projects that were completed as part of or as a continuation of a class assignment, please submit your nomination to the Student Project Award.

Award Criteria

Nominations and supporting materials should specifically address four equally weighted criteria:

  1. the creativity and/or innovativeness of the approach
  2. the quality of historical research and interpretation resulting from the use of material culture, oral history, or any other appropriate form of documentary evidence
  3. the social, civic, and/or intellectual impact of the project
  4. the professionalism of the history practitioner(s) involved

Submission Process

  1. Nominations should be submitted in the form of a written narrative between 300 and 1,000 words and clearly address the four criteria and provides a clear project statement. The project’s primary and secondary audience, if applicable, should also be identified in the narrative.
  2. Nominations for projects such as DVDs, videos, CDs, books, etc. should include digital copies of the production, submitted with the written narrative and other materials. If the digital file you wish to submit is too large to attach, then please include links to other digital storage systems (e.g. Dropbox, Google Drive) in the “Shipping Information” section of the form, so that award committee members can view or download the materials.
  3. Nominations should include pertinent supporting documents, such as a copy of the nominee’s resume or curriculum vitae if available. If the nominee is an organization or institution, information on its governance, mission, and size should also be provided. Other materials, including letters of support or formal reviews from newspapers, magazines, or professional journals, are encouraged. Nominations for exhibits, public programs, and most media projects should include examples of feedback from the public; wherever possible and appropriate, nominations for written works also should include such feedback.
  4. Fill out the form with the nominee’s information. (Nominations are closed for 2024; a link will be provided when nominations open for 2025)
    The form includes a file upload for the CV or resume and a file upload for supplemental material (the narrative and any additional media); all supplemental materials must be uploaded in one Word document or PDF. The completed form will be sent to each of the Outstanding Public History Project Award Committee members and to the NCPH executive office. Where possible, please send digital copies of physical materials. However, if you must ship physical materials then please mention it in the “Shipping Information” section of the form and send it to each of the committee members and the NCPH executive office at:
    127 Cavanaugh Hall – IUPUI
    425 University Blvd.
    Indianapolis, IN 46202

Nominations must be received (not postmarked) by December 1, 2023.

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

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 Project Award Winners


  • Large Institution Winner – Reflections on Grief and Child Loss, Callie Hawkins, President Lincoln’s Cottage
  • Small Institution Winner – The Peabody Ballroom Experience, Joseph Plaster, Winston Tabb Special Collections Research Center, Sheridan Libraries
    • Honorable Mention – La Florida: The Interactive Digital Archive of the Americas, J. Michael Francis, University of South Florida, St. Petersburg Campus, and Rachel L. Sanderson, University of South Florida, Tampa Campus


  • Large Institution Winner – We Make History, Diana Sierra Becerra, University of Massachusetts Amherst; Jennifer Guglielmo and Michelle Joffroy, Smith College; and Anna Duncan and Lisa Moore, National Domestic Workers Alliance
    • Honorable Mention – Campu Podcast, Hana Maruyama and Noah Maruyama, with Densho
  • Small Institution Winner – Evanston Policies and Practices Directly Affecting the African American Community, Morris “Dino” Robinson, Jr., Shorefront Legacy Center, and Jenny Thompson, Evanston History Center
    • Honorable Mention – The Forgotten Slavery of Our Ancestors, Howdice Brown III (Iñupiaq), Alice Qannik Glenn (Iñupiaq), and Marie Acemah (Founder/Director), See Stories


  • Mapping Prejudice, Kirsten Delegard, Ryan Mattke, Kevin Ehrman-Solberg, University of Minnesota; and Penny Petersen, Co-Founder and Volunteer
    • Honorable Mention – Rapid City Indian Boarding School Lands Project, Eric Zimmer and Heather Dawn Thompson, on behalf of the Project Team


  • Chicago 1919: Confronting the Race Riots, Karen Christianson, Elizabeth Cummings, D. Bradford Hunt, and Liesl Olson, Newberry Library
    • Honorable Mention – The New South and the New Slavery exhibit and [The Georgia Incarceration Performance Project], Chuck Barber, Jan Levinson Hebbard, Amma Ghartey-Tagoe Kootin, Barbara McCaskill, Mary Miller, Emily Sahakian, Sidonia Serafini, Jill Severn, University of Georgia; and Keith Arthur Bolden, Julie Johnson, Kathleen Wessel, Spelman College
    • Honorable Mention – Truth Telling: Frances Willard and Ida B. Wells, Lori Osborne and Ella Wagner, Frances Willard House Museum and Woman’s Christian Temperance Union Archives at the Center for Women’s History and Leadership


  • We are the Roots: Black Settlers and their Experiences with Discrimination on the Canadian Prairies, Jenna Bailey, Centre for Oral History and Tradition, University of Lethbridge; Deborah Dobbins, Shiloh Centre for Multicultural Roots; and David Este, University of Calgary
    • Honorable Mention -The Orange Story, Jasmine Alinder and Patrick Hall, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; Erika Street Hopman, Chavo Bart Digital Media; Jason Matsumoto and Eugene Sun Park, Full Spectrum Features


  • “The Mere Distinction of Colour,” Elizabeth Chew and Christian J. Cotz, James Madison’s Montpelier; Chris Danemayer, Proun Design LLC; and Molly O’Brien, Northern Light Productions
    • Honorable Mention – “Confinement in the Land of Enchantment: Japanese Americans in New Mexico during World War II,” Sarah R. Payne, Colorado State University Public Lands History Center; Andrew Russell, Central New Mexico Community College; and Victor Yamada, New Mexico Japanese American Citizens League


  • “Mann-Simons Site Interpretive Enhancements,” John Sherrer, Historic Columbia.
    • Honorable Mention- “Prisons Today: Questions in the Age of Mass Incarceration,” Annie Anderson and Sean Kelley, Eastern State Penitentiary History Site.


  • “The Philadelphia Public History Truck,” Erin Bernard and Temple University Center for Public History.


  • “Histories of the National Mall,” Sheila Brennan and Sharon Leon, Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media at George Mason University
    • Honorable Mention- “Slaves and Slaveholders of Wessyngton Plantation,” Rob DeHart, Paulette Fox, and Mark Hooper, Tennessee State Museum


  • Report to the Public: An Untold Story of the Conservative Vice Lords– Lisa Junkin Lopez, Jane Addams Hull-House Museum and Benneth Lee, National Alliance for the Empowerment of the Formerly Incarcerated
    • Honorable Mention- #QR1863: A Twitter Reenactment of Quantrill’s Raid– Julie McPike, Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area; Christine Metz Howard, Lawrence CVB; Abby Magariel, Watkins Museum of History; Kristen Soper, Lawrence Public Library


  • Museo Urbano at 500 S. Oregon-Yolanda Chávez Leyva and David Romo, Department of History at the University of Texas at El Paso
    • Honorable Mention- Virtual Watervliet– Starlyn D’Angelo, Shaker Heritage Society and Jose Kozan, Virtual Grounds, LLC


  • Texas Women’s History Moments-Nancy Baker Jones, Cynthia J. Beeman, Melissa Hield, and Teresa Paloma Acosta, The Ruthe Winegarten Memorial Foundation
    • Honorable Mention- Out in Chicago – Chicago History Museum


  • My Place is in the Voting Booth-Elizabeth R. Osborn and Elizabeth Kidwell, Indiana Supreme Court
    • Honorable Mentions-  Polk Street: Lives in Transition-Joey Plaster, Independent Consultant, and Cleveland Historical App-Mark Tebeau, Cleveland State University


  • Bracero Archive – Matthew Garcia, Brown University; James Halabuk, George Mason University; Sharon Leon, George Mason University; Peter Liebhold, National Museum of American History; and Kristine Navarro, Institute of Oral History
  • Nevada Test Site Oral History Project – Robert Futrell, Andrew Kirk, and Mary Palevsky, University of Nevada Las Vegas
    • Honorable Mention- Allegany County, Maryland African American History Project – Western Maryland Regional Library;
    • Honorable Mention- 1779 Committee of Safety Meetings – Norwalk Historical Society
    • Honorable Mention- National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom
    • Honorable Mention- De la Pluma a la Imprenta: La Cultura Impresa en Puerto Rico, 1806-1906 – Museum of History, Anthropology, and Art, University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus
    • Honorable Mention- Utah Indian Curriculum Guide – American West Center
    • Honorable Mention- District of Columbia Neighborhood Heritage Trails – Cultural Tourism DC and District Department of Transportation