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Annual Awards

The following awards are given annually.  Award recipients will be announced at the annual meeting in October.

Jump directly to award:
Article Award
Elizabeth B. Mason Project Award
Book Award
Oral History in Nonprint Format
Martha Ross Teaching Award
Postsecondary Teaching Award
Stetson Kennedy Vox Populi (“Voice of the People”) Annual Award

Article Award

In 1993, the Oral History Association established an honorific award to recognize a published article or essay that uses oral history to make a significant contribution to contemporary scholarship; and/or significantly advances understanding of important theoretical issues in oral history; and/or is an outstanding example of sound oral history methodology.

The next award will be made at the OHA’s 2019 annual meeting. The winning author(s) will receive an award plaque, a one-year membership in the OHA, and complimentary registration for the annual meeting.

Articles published between April 1, 2018 and December 31, 2018 are eligible for consideration. Going forward for next year, the eligibility period will be January 1 to December 31. The OHA welcomes entries that represent the work of academic scholars, public historians, professionals in history-related disciplines, and community-based individuals and groups. Entries are welcome from around the world but must be in English.

Submissions will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

  • Contribution to socio/historical inquiry
  • Contribution to the practice of oral history
  • Adherence to sound methodology in the conduct of interviews, including the deposit of completed interviews in a public repository for subsequent use and reinterpretation, where appropriate
  • Skillfulness and originality of presentation.

The award may be granted to a publication the significance of which, at least in part, derives from germinal work done previously by the author(s).

To Submit:

Send one electronic copy of the article or essay to the members of the awards committee listed below. Each submission must include a nomination letter that assesses the work’s significance, current impact, and contributions to knowledge and/or the practice of oral history.

Chair – Kate Brenner, katherinebrenner@gmail.com
Jocelyn Gomez, gomezsalas.j@gmail.com
Steven Sloan, Stephen_Sloan@baylor.edu

The submission deadline is July 1, 2019.

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Elizabeth B. Mason Project Award

The Oral History Association has established an honorific award to recognize an outstanding oral history project.  There will be two awards given: one for small projects and one for major projects. The next Project Awards will be made at the OHA’s 2019 annual meeting. The winning entrants will receive an award plaque and one-year memberships in the OHA; the persons accepting the awards will receive complimentary registrations to the annual meeting.

Projects completed between April 1, 2018 and December 31, 2018, are eligible for consideration. Going forward for next year, the eligibility period will be January 1 to December 31. The OHA welcomes nominations for projects with an institutional affiliation, including those undertaken by libraries, archives, colleges and universities, museum and historical organizations, community-based institutions, and others; as well as those undertaken by academic scholars, independent researchers, and ad hoc groups. The awards will not be given to an ongoing project or oral history program, although it may be given to a distinct project or interview series within such a program. Entries are welcome from around the world but must be in English.

Submissions will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

  • The project entails a research design that addresses significance, objectives, manner of selecting interviewees and interviewers, outline of major topics of inquiry, schedule of questions, plan of work, quality controls, staff, budget, user access, and use.
  • The project possesses noteworthy scholarly and social value.
  • The project advances both the understanding of an important historical subject, issue, or theme, and also the disciplined practice of oral history.

To Submit:

Nominations must include samples of the project interviews (e.g. audio- and/or videotapes, transcripts); examples of products associated with the project (e.g. anthologies, photo essays, media presentations, finding aids); and a nomination letter that outlines the project’s research design/methodology and addresses its scholarly and social significance. Nominations should include a minimum of two and a maximum of five letters of support for the award. One copy of all material submitted is to be sent to the members of the awards committee listed below with an indication of the dollar size of the project.

Nominations may come from the individual(s)/institution responsible for the project or from some other source.

Chair – Christian Lopez, clopez@uga.edu, Russell Special Collections Building, 300 S. Hull Street, Athens, GA, 30602
Amanda Tewes, atewes@berkeley.edu, Oral History Center, The Bancroft Library #6000, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720-6000
Doug Boyd, doug.boyd@uky.edu,

The submission deadline is July 1, 2019.

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Book Award

The Oral History Association invites nominations for its 2019 Book Award, established in 1993 to recognize a published book that uses oral history to make a significant contribution to contemporary scholarship; and/or significantly advances understanding of important theoretical issues in oral history; and/or is an outstanding example of sound oral history methodology.

The award, which is honorific, is presented annually and will be awarded at the OHA’s 2019 annual meeting. Winners receive an award plaque, one-year memberships in the OHA, and complimentary registration to the annual meeting.

The OHA welcomes entries that represent the work of academic scholars, public historians, independent professionals, and community-based groups and individuals. Entries are welcome from around the world but must be in English.

Submissions are evaluated according to the following criteria:

  • Contribution to socio/historical inquiry
  • Contribution to the practice of oral history
  • Adherence to sound methodology in the conduct of interviews, including the deposit of completed interviews in a public repository for subsequent use and reinterpretation, where appropriate
  • Skillfulness and originality of presentation.

The award may be granted to a publication the significance of which, at least in part, derives from germinal work done previously by the author(s). Works published between April 1, 2018 and December 31, 2018 will be eligible for consideration. Going forward for next year, the eligibility period will be January 1 to December 31.

To Submit:

Send one copy of the book to the each committee member listed below. All submissions must include a nomination letter that assesses the work’s adherence to the above criteria.

Submissions may come from the book’s author, publisher, or from another individual. Publishers may submit a maximum of three books. If the cost of submitting application materials places undue financial burden on the applicant, please contact the committee chair, above. Additional questions may be directed to the committee chair.

Chair – Adrienne Petty, ampetty@wm.edu, Department of History, College of William & Mary James Blair, Room 330,  250 James Blair Dr. Williamsburg, VA 23185
Paul Ortiz, ortizprof@gmail.com, 2115 NW 7th LN, Gainesville, FL 32603
Ruth Hill, ruth_hill@radcliffe.harvard.edu, 30 Fernald Drive, Cambridge MA 02138

The submission deadline is July 1, 2019.

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Oral History in a Nonprint Format

In 1993, the Oral History Association established an honorific award to recognize a film, video, performance pieces, radio program or series, exhibition, or drama that makes significant and outstanding use of oral history to interpret an historical event, person, place, or way of life. In recent years, this category has expanded to recognize digital projects including podcasts, mobile applications, and other products. The Nonprint Format Award is presented annually. The next award will be made at the OHA’s 2019 annual meeting.  The winning entrant will receive an award plaque, a one-year membership in the OHA and complimentary registration to the annual meeting.

Work produced between April 1, 2018 and December 31, 2018 is eligible for consideration. Going forward for next year, the eligibility period will be January 1 to December 31. Entries may represent the work of an individual, group, or institution. The OHA welcomes submissions from public historians, independent professionals, community-based groups and individuals, and academic scholars. Entries are welcome from around the world but must be in English.

The following questions will be used to evaluate submissions:

  • Is oral history essential to an understanding of the historical subject presented?
  • Is oral history a significant component of the product as well as the research informing it?
  • Is the subject of historical significance? Is it treated accurately? Is the work informed by current scholarship?
  • Have professional standards been employed in the conduct, use, and disposition of oral history interviews developed in conjunction with the work?
  • Is oral history used imaginatively, taking advantage of its strengths? Is it used appropriately for the medium in which it is presented?
  • Does the product communicate its message effectively? How important is oral history to its success?

To submit:

Nominations for a film, video, or radio production are to include:

  • A copy of the production itself or, preferably, a link to access the media digitally.
  • A nominating letter that discusses why oral history was used, how it was used in the development of the work, and the methodology informing the oral history process.

Nominations for an exhibition are to include:

  • A copy of the audiovisual productions(s) that use oral history
  • An exhibit walk-through, including slides and the text of major labels
  • A nominating letter that discusses why oral history was used, how it was used in the development of the work, and the methodology informing the oral history process.

Nominations for a dramatic production or performance are to include:

  • A video of the production or performance and when applicable, a copy of the script
  • A nominating letter that discusses why oral history was used, how it was used in the development of the work, and the methodology informing the oral history process.

One copy of all material submitted is to be sent to each member of the awards committee below. Anyone wishing return of the material should include return postage.

Chair – Ross Walton, arthur.walton@usm.edu, Center for Oral History and Cultural Heritage, 118 College Drive #5175, Hattiesburg, MS 39406
Shanna Farrell, sfarrell@library.berkeley.edu, 828 Anza Street, #1, San Francisco, CA 94118
Karen Neurohr, karen.neurohr@okstate.edu, Oral History Research Dept., Oklahoma State University Library, 207, Stillwater, OK 74078-1071

The submission deadline is July 1, 2019.


The following awards are given biennially:

Martha Ross Teaching Award (in odd numbered years)

Postsecondary Teaching Award (in even numbered years)

Martha Ross Teaching Award

In 1993, the Oral History Association established an honorific award to recognize a distinguished primary or secondary school teacher or professional involved in educational outreach at the precollegiate level who has incorporated the practice of oral history in the classroom in an exemplary way. The Martha Ross Teaching Award is presented biennially in odd-numbered years. The next award will be made at the OHA’s 2019 annual meeting to be held in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The award-winning teacher will receive an award plaque, a one-year membership in the OHA, and complimentary registration to the annual meeting.

Criteria for the award are:

  • The teacher has developed an innovative philosophy or strategy for the use of oral history; and/or successfully implemented an existing strategy for doing oral history with students; and/or used oral history in print or other format to enhance learning.
  • The teacher’s work or approach is a model for the use of oral history in education.
  • The teacher has demonstrated familiarity with both oral history scholarship and the literature relating oral history to educational practice.
  • The project or curriculum reflects appropriate standards for historical research and interpretation, oral history interviewing, preservation of completed tapes (and transcripts, where applicable), and presentation.
  • The oral history project or curriculum has a civic or community component.

Submit one copy of each of the following materials to each member of the award committee below:

  • A two- or three-page statement describing both the teacher’s philosophy or goals relating to the use of oral history in an educational setting and the details of the oral history project or curriculum the teacher has developed;
  • Supporting materials such as syllabi, assignments, transcripts, press releases and other promotional material, publications, media productions, et cetera
  • A nominating or supporting letter describing both the educator’s use of oral history and the rationale for nomination.

Nominations may come from teachers themselves or from colleagues, students, administrators, or community members who recognize the accomplishments of a teacher in using oral history to enhance education.

Submission deadline is July 1, 2019.

Chair- David Cline, dpcline@sdsu.edu
Jason Higgins, jahiggins@umass.edu
Jennifer Keil, jennifer@70degrees.org

Postsecondary Teaching Award

The Postsecondary Teaching Award of the Oral History Association is presented biannually in even-numbered years. Established in 1993, the award recognizes a distinguished postsecondary educator involved in undergraduate, graduate, continuing, or professional education who has incorporated the practice of oral history in the classroom in an exemplary way. The next award will be made at the OHA’s 2018 annual meeting. The award-winning educator will receive an award plaque, a one-year membership in the OHA, and complimentary registration to the annual meeting.

Criteria for the award are:

  • The educator has developed an innovative philosophy or strategy for the use of oral history; and/or successfully implemented an existing strategy for doing oral history with students; and/or used oral history in print or other medium to enhance learning;
  • The educator’s work or approach is a model for the use of oral history in education;
  • The educator has demonstrated familiarity with both oral history scholarship and the literature relating oral history to educational practice;
  • The project or curriculum adheres to appropriate standards for historical research and interpretation, oral history interviewing, preservation of recordings (and transcripts, where applicable), and presentation;
  • The oral history project or curriculum has a civic or community component.

To nominate an educator for this award, submit one copy of each of the following materials to each member of the teaching awards committee below:

  • A two- or three-page statement describing both the educator’s philosophy or goals relating to the use of oral history in an educational setting and the details of the oral history project or curriculum the educator has developed;
  • Supporting materials such as syllabi, assignments, transcripts, press releases and other promotional material, publications, media productions, et cetera; and
  • A nominating or supporting letter describing both the educator’s use of oral history and the rationale for nomination.

Nominations may come from educators themselves or from colleagues, students, administrators, or community members who recognize the accomplishments of an educator in using oral history to enhance education.

Nominations for this award will open in 2020.

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