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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
Mason Multi-Media Awards
Book Award
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 2020 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 January 1 to December 31 of the previous are eligible for consideration. 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 – Jocelyn Gomez, gomezsalas.j@gmail.com
Steven Sloan, Stephen_Sloan@baylor.edu

The submission deadline is July 1, 2020.

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Mason Multi-Media Awards

The Oral History Association established the Mason Multi-Media honorific awards to recognize outstanding oral history projects, collections, exhibits, and multimedia presentations for the public.  Up to three awards will be given each year. The next Awards will be presented at the OHA’s 2020 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.

Qualifying projects may be any of the following: 

  • Oral History Project or Collection (physical and/or virtual)
  • Exhibitions (physical and/or virtual)
  • Documentary or Performance (podcasts, films, theatrical productions, mobile applications, etc.)

Projects published/completed between January 1 to December 31 of the previous year are eligible for consideration. 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 they may be given to a distinct project or interview series within such a program. We encourage nominations from both large and small oral history projects. Entries are welcome from around the world but must be submitted in English.

Submissions will be evaluated according to the following questions:

  • 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 project or collection are to 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)
  • A nominating letter that outlines the project’s research design/methodology and addresses its scholarly and social significance.

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 documentary or performance are to include:

  • A link to a copy of the production itself 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.

Each nomination should also 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 each member of the awards committee below.

* Please email your applications to the OHA’s Executive Office at oha@oralhistory.org.

Doug Boyd, doug.boyd@uky.edu; 104ab Margaret I King Library, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40506-0039

Amanda Tewes, atewes@berkeley.edu; 2738 Oak Rd #154, Walnut Creek, CA 94597

Ross Walton, arthur.walton@usm.edu; 415 E. Court Ave, Mendenhall, MS 39114

Karen Nuerohr, karen.neurohr@okstate.edu; Edmon Low Library, 207, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078-1071

The submission deadline is July 1, 2020.

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Book Award

The Oral History Association invites nominations for its 2020 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 2020 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 January 1 to December 31 of the previous year are eligible for consideration.

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. Additional questions may be directed to the committee chair.

Chair – Adrienne Petty, ampetty@wm.edu, 4761 Williamsburg Glade, 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, 2020.


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 2021 annual meeting to be held in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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.

This award will be offered in 2021.

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 2020 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.

The submission deadline is July 1, 2020.

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

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