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Organization of American Historians

Grants, Student Loans, & Fellowships

The Organization of American Historians works to promote the teachings, education and overall presentation of American history. It was founded in 1907 and is currently the largest professional organization that is dedicated to American history teachings. They currently have more than 9,000 members in the United States and around the world including professors, grade school teachers, historians, museum curators and other public figures that are dedicated to the preservation and education of American history.

The organization of American Historians sponsors and support several awards to share and honor prominent historians and allow students and teachers to obtain the education necessary to fulfill their academic and career goals without financial setbacks. They also participate in the National Coalition for History, the National Humanities Alliance, and the American Council of Learned Societies. They use these resources to provide the best possible opportunities for historians and members of their organization.

Awards and Prizes Offered by the Organization of American Historians

The Willi Paul Adams Award is given out every five years for the best book on American history that has been published in a foreign language. The book writer is awarded $1,000 and the publisher receives a certificate. Eligible work is any that has been published within approximately three years before the award is given. To apply, writers of the work must submit four copies of a two-page essay explaining why the book is a worthy contribution and a copy of the book to the award committee. Contestants can send their information to the following address:

Willi Paul Adams Award Committee
c/o Organization of American Historians
112 North Bryan Avenue
Bloomington, IN 47408

The Erik Barnouw Award is given out annually for outstanding network or cable television programming on American history. Eligible material includes documentaries or films that are played on a cable station. The award is eligible for programs that are released within one year before the award is distributed. One copy of each entry should be sent and labeled “Erik Barnow Award Entry” to each of the following addresses for the judging panel:

Gerald E. Shenk (Committee Chair)
Social & Behavioral Sciences
California State University, Monterey Bay
Seaside, CA 93955

Elspeth H. Brown
CSUS/Munk Centre
University of Toronto
1 Devonshire Place
Toronto, ON M5S 3K7

Vivian Bruce Conger
17 Harrison Street
Spencer, NY 14883

Organization of American Historians
112 North Bryan Avenue
Bloomington, IN 47408

The award is given annually to one or two applicants in the amount of $1,000 if there is one winner or $500 each for two winners. The film will also be used as part of the Organization of American Historians Screening History film series.

The Ray Allen Billington Award is given every five years for the best published book on the topic of American frontier history. The award is for work published during a two year period before the award is distributed, specific time periods listed on the organization website. One copy of the book and a letter of explanation as to why the book is worthy of the award must be mailed to the following judges on the judging panel:

Kathleen DuVal (Committee Chair)
Department of History, CB #3195
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, NC 27599

David Rich Lewis
Department of History
0710 Old Main Hill
Utah State University
Logan, UT 84322

Pablo Mitchell
Department of History
Rice Hall 316
Oberlin College
10 North Professor
Oberlin, OH 44074

The award winner receives $1,000 and the publisher receives a certificate stating their part in the award process.

Things to Know About the Organization of American Historians Awards

The organization focuses their funding on scholarly achievements completed by college graduates, historians, history professors and others involved in the industry. Awards are given out at the Organization of American Historians annual meeting. There are over 40 awards and prizes available for members of the organization to encourage historical research and the development of new publications or documentaries. The details of each specific award and addresses to the judging panels are available on the organization website. Most awards require applicants to submit a copy of their book, movie, video or other publication to each judge along with a letter of explanation or essay regarding why they created it and any future goals they have with their work. Applicants should also be sure to check specific dates in which their work must have been published or premiered in order to be eligible for the award. Almost all awards are for work launched between a specific time period.

Contact Information for the Organization of American Historians

Organization of American Historians
112 North Bryan Avenue
Bloomington, IN 47408
(812) 855-7311

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